Judith Batchelar

Former Sainsbury’s brand director Judith Batchelar has announced she is becoming an ambassador for international development charity Farm Africa.

Batchelar, who joined Sainsbury’s in 2004 and departed last year from her role as special advisor at the supermarket, has been a supporter of the charity for more than a decade.

She has previously served as a trustee at the charity and played a key role in setting up its Food for Good network, which connects the UK food and farming industry to smallholder farmers and their communities in rural eastern Africa.

“I am fortunate to have visited Farm Africa’s work in Kenya and Tanzania, where I met farming families who have received support from the charity,” Batchelar said.

“I have seen the impact this support has made on the lives of the whole family. It was particularly inspirational to see thriving businesses built by female entrepreneurs, such as beekeepers and fish farmers. I am delighted to take on the role of Farm Africa ambassador,” she added.

Batchelar has worked in the food and drink industry for more than 38 years. Prior to joining Sainsbury’s she was a director at Safeway, and also spent 12 years in the food division of Marks & Spencer. She was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to farming and the food industry.

She holds several government roles, sitting on both the Food & Drink Sector and Natural Environment Research Councils. In March this year she was appointed deputy chair of the Environment Agency.

Farm Africa said Batchelar’s ambassadorship came at a “key moment” for the charity, which is raising money for its End Hunger Grow Farming appeal, to train 50,000 farmers in Embu and Tharaka-Nithi counties in regenerative agricultural practices to boost their productivity, climate resilience, food security and incomes.

Farmers are learning about the benefits of inter-cropping, nitrogen-fixing crops, organic mature and water conservation, as well as learning business skills from finance and bookkeeping to sales and marketing

Donations to the appeal are being matched by a group of Farm Africa supporters, meaning that donations received by December 31 will be doubled, up to a total of £150,000.