Latest news

Below is a list of recent news items. For older items, see News archive.


6th May 2016 Honorary Professorship from Harper Adams University

I have been awarded an Honorary Professorship which entails giving a couple of lectures a year at the University: I am humbled by the honour and pleased to maintain an ongoing link with the University.

Until the end of April I was a Governor but felt I no longer had time to do this role justice: there is also a potential conflict in that Harper Adams accredits the MDS Post Graduate Certificate.

I will continue to support Harper Adams University which this year was voted Number One in the WhatUni Awards!

3rd May 2016 Appointed Chair MDS Ltd

The MDS Ltd board of Directors has appointed Christine Tacon CBE as Chair, effective from May 3 2016.

Christine has extensive produce industry experience.  She managed the Co-operative Group’s farming business for 11 years and was awarded a CBE for services to Agriculture in 2004. Prior to this, Christine worked within Mars Confectionery, Fonterra and Vodafone, and has demonstrated her commitment to the next generation through Ladies in Agriculture.  In 2015 she was appointed as the first Groceries Code Adjudicator

Christine brings to MDS her ability to combine strategic leadership with practical understanding of both private and public sectors. This is backed by a strong commercial background in fast-moving consumer goods, farming and the environment and extensive communications experience in high-profile roles.

Julius Joel, Director and former MDS trainee said: “It is great that Christine has agreed to help us take MDS to its next level.  Her experience and energy will help the business strengthen its service to its member companies, re-invigorate its training platform and build on the unique management development program we offer.”


About Management Development Serviced Ltd (MDS)


Since its inception in 1986 MDS has established itself as a leading training provider for talented graduates in the fresh food and produce industry. MDS has expanded steadily as companies seek to safeguard the future by attracting the right calibre of talent into the produce industry.


Today, MDS has 30 member companies with activities that encompass the whole supply chain of vegetables, salads, fruit, flowers, plants, arable and prepared food products in the UK and internationally. A strong list of new membership applications now highlight the interest in what is now seen as a ‘model’ for specialist management training. MDS is an independent non-profit making organisation whose aim is to recruit and train the very best people to secure the future of this fast-changing industry. The strength of MDS comes from members working in partnership with a common goal, even though some may be competitors in the commercial world. MDS is run by a Board of Directors appointed from within the membership, with day-to-day management support from a team based in Peterborough.


1st May 2016 Met Office Non Executive Director role ends

After 3 exciting years being on the Met Office board, I will leave at the end of May. 4 of us were appointed at the same time and best practice is that boards rotate (ideally not all at once…) and other people are given a chance. The decision was understandably made to keep the 2 scientists on the board so I am leaving but wishing them all the best. It is a fantastic organisation, world leading and now is midway through a £97m project to install a super-computer. Well set for the future.