Evening Speakers

Mike Petersen, New Zealand Special Agricultural Trade Envoy

Mr Mike Petersen is New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy (SATE) and has held this role since July 2013.

This unique role was established by New Zealand ministers in close consultation with New Zealand’s agriculture sector – to bring a farmer’s perspective to international trade in food and agriculture, and to build partnerships with farming organisations offshore.

Mr Petersen is not a government official. Drawing on his considerable farming and private sector experience, Petersen works to promote a greater understanding of New Zealand’s agricultural sector interests, including dairy, meat, wool, horticulture and wine, from the perspective of a practicing farmer.

Mr Petersen is a successful farmer and industry leader in the New Zealand agricultural community. Mr Petersen owns and operates a finishing farm in Hawke's Bay, which he has managed since New Zealand’s agricultural reforms in the late 1980s.

As a farmer and industry leader in New Zealand, Mr Petersen is well positioned to offer his perspective on the New Zealand primary sector. These perspectives include new innovations in sustainable farming, sector efficiency and productivity, as well as discussing some of the challenges in New Zealand’s evolution into a successful trading nation despite being one of the most isolated countries in the world.

Rt Hon Owen Paterson, Former Environment Secretary

Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP has been the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire (Conservative) since 1997.

Owen was in David Cameron’s Cabinet as Secretary of State for DEFRA (2012 – 2014) and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2010 – 2012). In Opposition, he was on the front bench team as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2007 - 2010), Shadow Minister for Transport (2006 – 2007), Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2003 – 2005), and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition (2001 – 2003), and Opposition Whip (2000 – 2001). As a backbencher he sat on the Agriculture, European Scrutiny, and Welsh Affairs Select Committees.

Owen read History at the University of Cambridge, attended the National Leathers College, and spent twenty years in the leather industry before entering Parliament.

Tim Breitmeyer, Deputy President of the CLA

Tim Breitmeyer, has been an active CLA member for more than a decade.

He chaired the CLA Cambridgeshire branch committee for two years and has also chaired the CLA’s national Agriculture and Land Use Committee and Environment Committee.

Tim farms 1,600 acres in Cambridgeshire, growing wheat, spring barley, oil seed rape and sugarbeet, as well as contract-farming a further 3,900 acres.

The business also runs a substantial sugarbeet harvesting and delivery operation, rents out 5,500 square foot of office space and has a private shoot.
Tim served for 18 years in the Grenadier Guards, retiring in 1996, and is a member of Her Majesty’s Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, providing a ceremonial guard for HM The Queen on state occasions.

Tim was elected Deputy President of the CLA at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on 12 November 2015.

Meurig Raymond, President NFU

Meurig Raymond farms 3,600 acres in Pembrokeshire in partnership with his twin brother, eldest son and nephew.

Meurig has a long standing relationship with the NFU. He served as Vice-Chairman of the NFU's Cereals Committee between 1999 and 2001 and served on the Agricultural Wages Board for six years from 1998. He was elected as Vice President of the NFU in 2004, became Deputy President in 2006 and President in 2014 and was re-elected for a second term in 2016.

He represents European farmers on the European Commission’s High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Supply Chain – working to improve the position of farmers in the food chain across Europe.