You will be pitching to a panel of industry experts in the agricultural field, each with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

They are looking to support the best concepts or to develop ideas for new technologies and innovations, which will help shape the future of the UK’s agricultural industry.

CFO AgriBriefing

Rupert Levy

Rupert joined the team in 2012 at the time of the acquisition of brands from UBM.

He began his career at KPMG before joining Miller Freeman as finance director in 1998.

Rupert went on to hold senior financial director positions at WMRC, SEM Group, Haymarket exhibitions and Dods.

Alongside his financial responsibility he has a specific remit to oversee the company’s extensive exhibition portfolio.

Solutions and Services Manager at BASF for Agricultural Solutions in the UK and Ireland

Louis Wells

He is responsible for scouting new technology in the agri-tech space, looking for opportunities that would complement the current BASF portfolio.

A role which he started just over two years ago, he has been instrumental in driving the company’s digital activities within the UK, developing and delivering a number of solutions that will help generate a more sustainable future in agriculture.

Not from a farming background, Louis became passionate about the sector following a placement year while completing his Biological degree at the University of Bath.

After graduating he joined BASF in the development team managing field trials before moving to the technical sales team as an agronomy manager.

His current role in Solutions and Services allows him to combine his passion for science with his interest in business.

BASF Venture Capital GmbH
Investment Manager

Dr. Claus Hackmann

Claus joined BASF as an investment manager in 2010. He is active in four boards. The related companies are based in the US, the UK, Switzerland and Germany.

Before that he was head of production of Electronic Materials in Europe within BASF SE and was leader of the Business Process Management team in the business unit detergents and formulators.

He joined BASF SE in 1994 and worked until 2003 in several functions in research, development and production.

He studied chemistry at the Westfälischen Wilhelms Universität in Münster and did his post doctorate at the UCSB in Santa Barbara.

Head of Farm 491

Luke Halsey

Luke leads Farm491’s incubation work, supporting companies in the agri-food tech space to achieve their full growth potential as well as building out partnerships and research initiatives to help grow the UKs agritech ecosystem. Luke is also Investment Director for California based fund AiiM Partners.

Luke has over 10 years experience with environmental and social impact orientated businesses.

This includes deep investment experience having worked in California on high impact portfolios around climate change solutions across agrifood, energy and oceans.

He has also been involved in numerous research projects focused on breaking down barriers to adoption of innovation in the UK and U.S. to solve some of the biggest global social and environmental problems.

Independent Consultant S E Bell Agri Food Ltd

Sarah Bell

Sarah runs her own consultancy business S.E Bell Agri Food Ltd, driving and delivering positive change in food supply chains.

Sarah has worked closely with academia and business developing practical solutions incorporating data use, to demonstrate sustainable farming.

She currently splits her time between farming with her husband Ed and parents Robert & Sue, in Rutland, and the consultancy business.

Prior to consultancy Sarah worked for Openfield as Head of Supply Chain. Her role was wide ranging, centring on strategic management of the cereal supply chains for leading brands such as Warburtons, Nestle, Waitrose and other household names, alongside the farmer owners of the business.