Session 2 Speakers


Professor Bob Doherty (Chair)

Professor of Marketing and Chair in AgriFood.

Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing and Chair in Agrifood at The York Management School, University of York.  He is also principal investigator on a large 4-year interdisciplinary research programme (£3.4m) awarded in 2016 on food systems resilience titled ‘IKnowFood’, funded by the Global Food Security Fund. He is also Co-Investigator on the ESRC grant ‘Sustainable Consumption, the Middle Classes and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South’ and has developed an institutional link with Chiang Mai University, through the Newton Fund Grant ‘Pathways to transformation of small-scale agriculture in the Mekong Region’. Recently, Bob has been seconded as a policy fellow into UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on a new science research programme launched to inform DEFRA policy making:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/science-research-programme-launched-to-inform-defra-policy-making


Lee Ayu Chuepa

Co-founder and proprietor Akha Ama Coffee, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Lee Ayu chuepa was established Akha Ama Coffee as Social Enterprise in 2010.

His enterprise was granted by Social Entrepreneurship Grant operated under Child’s Dream Foundation. He started to work with his people in indigenous community to enhance the quality of economy, education and environment through coffee business. He is now running 3 coffee shops, 1 roastery, 1 coffee warehouse and The Akha Ama Living factory as learning space in Chiang Mai, north of Thailand.


Alex Maitland

Policy Officer for the Future of Business Initiative, Oxfam

Alex Maitland leads Oxfam’s Future of Business Initiative which challenges the shareholder-first business model, presenting a positive vision for dignified work in a fairer economy. He works with policy makers, academics, business leaders and investors to identify how the barriers to fairer business models can be overcome. He was policy adviser to Oxfam’s Executive Director during her participation in the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work and content lead for Oxfam’s involvement in the ASEAN World Economic Forum. He has developed procurement tools for Oxfam trading, led on corporate governance policy advocacy in the UK and is currently working on promoting social enterprises in South and South East Asia.

Alex has an MSc in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability from Birkbeck and a BA in Politics and Philosophy from Cardiff. He formerly worked for the corporate governance think-tank Tomorrow’s Company and has consulted for multi-national corporations on their sustainability strategies.


Chris Thompson

Head of Marketing and Sales, Cafe Direct

After completing a BSC (Hons) in Agri-Food Marketing & Business Studies at Harper Adams University, Chris spent three years in the fresh produce industry, working with both UK and International growers to market a range of produce to the UK supermarkets from Spain, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Guatemala and Thailand.

Pursuing his passion for marketing & wine(!), Chris joined the US wine giant E. & J. Gallo Winery, dubbed the ‘University of the wine business’ to lead the marketing in Northern Europe. This was followed by Head of Marketing (Europe) for Fosters Wine Estates (now part of Treasury Wine Estates ) and the re-launch of the iconic Wolf Blass wine brand from Australia. Having  led The Wine Group as European Managing Director, Chris swapped the security of a large corporate for an entrepreneurial start-up within the artisan coffee business, becoming an owner and Managing Director of Paddy & Scott’s Coffee. Taking his learnings from the wine business and applying them to the coffee sector, the company grew  quickly over his tenure to be one of the fastest growing coffee brands in the UK with listings in major grocery accounts as well as branded coffee bars in corporate head offices.

Following the development of another coffee brand and various consultancy roles in the hot beverage and alcoholic beverage sector, Chris joined Café Direct in 2019 as Head of Sales and Marketing. Commenting on the new role, Chris says, ‘I am delighted to join Café Direct at this exciting time, a brand with incredibly strong credentials in sourcing great products in an ethical and sustainable way. A unique business model, giving 50% of profits back to growers through Producers Direct, proving that business can be a force for good.


Sarah Wakefield

Sustainable Sourcing & Fairtrade Manager, Co-op

Sarah has oversight of the Co-op food’s sourcing standards for their 30 key ingredients, from palm oil to cocoa. She is part of the team who has developed the Co-op’s Future of Food 2030 vision and co-chairs the Courtauld 2025 Water Ambition. She has had a passion for trade justice and Fairtrade since setting up a campaign group in school and still believes that we can make a difference to the world around us through the purchasing decisions we make.