Speakers at the N8 AgriFood Conference

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.