Who We Are
Bob Waller - MD
Involved in all aspects of livestock farming for over 40 years, Bob was formally agriculture manager for Freedom Food. His work there brought him into day to day contact with the major grocery retailers and foodservice businesses as well as livestock producers across poultry, pigs, sheep and dairy and beef cattle.
In addition, his knowledge and experience of the aquaculture industry is arguably second to none - having worked with salmon farmers in Scotland, bringing over 70% of all production under Freedom Food in just ten years.
Before Freedom Food, Bob spent 24 years hands-on in livestock production. This coupled with his knowledge of the demands of retailers and foodservice businesses puts him in a unique position to help producers, processors and abattoirs achieve their goals. Bob is trained and accredited as a lead auditor by the IRCA.
Ian Armstrong - Non-executive Director
Brought up on a remote hill farm in the Scottish Borders and with a degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Management from the University of Edinburgh, for 12 years Ian was in charge of various Atlantic salmon farming operations with Marine Harvest in Scotland and Chile. In 1993 a Nuffield Scholarship to Japan broadened his outlook and was the catalyst for Ian becoming a processing manager on the Scottish west coast for Marine Harvest and Scottish Sea Farms (formerly Hydro Seafood GSP).
This combination of farming and processing management experience has facilitated the sustainable development of improved biosecurity techniques which also enhance market value. Ian played a pivotal role in the development of the innovative RSW closed valve wellboat technology which involves market ready salmon being transported with high welfare standards by wellboat, before being humanely harvested shore side in harvesting plants.
In 2002 he formed Nevis Marine, an independent consultancy offering a range of services to the aquaculture industry, including the provision of technical advice for both RSPCA and Freedom Food. His joint venture with the Norwegian based Aquatic Concept Group continues to deliver innovative technology and sustainable solutions to the international salmon farming industry.
Sue Brotherhood – Adviser
Sue is an experienced Technical Manager, with more than 23 years in chilled food manufacturing.
Her experience includes the development and implementation of effective quality systems to ensure food safety, quality and legality by ensuring compliance to various standards and retailer customer requirements– these include BRC, HACCP, Red Tractor, TFMS , Nurture and Soil Association.
Her career started in Quality Assurance, for what was then known as Geest - now Bakkavor - on the Spalding site. This journey started with the wet and Deli salads teams. After improving the BRC result within that department, she was offered the chance to join a new project with the Fresh Menu solutions team working closely with a foodservice customer. BRC accreditation and customer approval was successfully achieved within a very tight timescale.
Still with Geest, she moved to Quality Assurance manager on a new build/ refurbishment project, later to become The Pizzeria at Holbeach – implementing and maintaining Geest and customer quality standards and codes of practice, gaining BRC accreditation and implementing and managing a HACCP programme.
In 2005, Sue joined Bourne Stir Fry, and was part of the team that took the business to high standards of technical compliance.
Three years later, she joined Marshall Bros – part of the Produce World group and one of the largest suppliers of brassicas in the UK and Europe. Here she was the primary point of technical contact for such customers as Tesco, Waitrose, Asda and the Co-operative Group.
At Fenmarc Produce Ltd, now working with root vegetables, Sue redeveloped the quality manual and internal systems and was involved in the development of Central Technical Policies and Procedures, amongst many other initiatives.
She is lead auditor trained and holds HND in Food Technology, Advanced Food Hygiene CIEH, Supplier Quality Assurance CCFRA, Professional Trainer CIEH and Advanced HACCP qualifications.
Andrew Charlton – Adviser
Andrew has his own farming business in West Norfolk producing cereals and sugar beet, and has been involved in farming professionally for around 30 years.
With an MBA in Food and Agriculture from the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester, Andrew’s farming career has included work for the Processed Vegetable Growers Association in the role of Development Officer, as sales and purchasing manager for G’s Marketing Ltd in Cambridge and with Business Link as Supply Chain Adviser, where he project managed clients from initial contact through to delivery and close out of support activity.
In 2000, Andrew became a Senior Adviser with the East of England Development Agency where his varied role including auditing of businesses using the Benchmark Index or Rapid Score benchmarking software to undertake rapid diagnostics and business improvement.
In 2003, Andrew embarked on a short term Defra funded project, to encourage producers of beef, sheep and pigs to improve cost control and exchange of best practice through the creation of benchmarking clubs.
Aside from working with PIW, Andrew now works as a freelance interim manager and consultant offering a wide range of services to farmers.
Sophie Evans – Adviser
Working with elephants, cheetahs and Blesbox (antelope) on a voluntary stint in a South African game reserve, confirmed Sophie’s desire to work with animals – whatever their size and status! Returning to the UK, she enrolled for an Animal Welfare and Science degree at Easton College, where she gained hands on experience with a wide range of livestock including dairy cows, pigs and sheep.
After a year with Gleadell Agriculture in Swaffham, she joined Traditional Norfolk Poultry in 2011 as their Poultry Welfare Officer. Her role involved ensuring that all farms were being kept up to the standards required by organisations such as Freedom Food, Red Tractor and Organic Farmers and Growers, managing the paperwork associated with the audits and attending all auditing visits. Her role also included attending farms to review any health and welfare issues to ensure they were managed swiftly, appropriately and efficiently.
Sophie’s role with PIW is to help producers understand the standards they need to meet and put systems in place to ensure compliance is reached and maintained for each scheme, to ensure smooth progress to certification.
Nick Hadley – Adviser
Involved in the business of farming for nearly 40 years, Nick has a wide range of experience including running a 137 acre National Trust Farm with his wife. The farm is testament to his versatility, currently rearing organic suckler cows alongside arable, potato and field vegetables. In the past, sheep, pigs and poultry have also been reared on the farm.
After a varied early career in agriculture, in 2004 Nick took the experience and skills he had gained and launched his career as an agricultural auditing and inspection consultant. In this role he has been involved in auditing Animal Welfare and providing Technical and Quality assurance for Integra Food Secure Ltd and auditing food processing operations throughout Europe to Tesco Welfare and Technical and Quality standards.
Nick’s assessing experience also includes Soil Association, SAFA (on livestock and cereals), FAWL and NFDAS. He also inspects to BRC, HACCP and is fully involved in farm to fork traceability. He is a licensed Animal Welfare Office and is accredited by IRCA as a Lead Auditor.
Colin Hayter – Adviser
Starting his career in agriculture with the Milk Marketing Board providing business management and technical advice to dairy farmers, Colin went on after five years to a 1,500 acre dairy, beef and arable estate, where he was responsible for business management.
Then followed a period with Midland Shires Farmers as Technical Adviser, where his role included providing information to the senior nutritionist on feed performance and market trends. In 1999, Colin moved to the Soil Association, where he remained for some fifteen years. His role included inspecting a diverse range of primary food production sites and undertaking audits of feed mills, grain and seed merchants.
Colin’s wide business and agricultural background and his many years of auditing work brings invaluable experience to the PIW team and their clients.
Lauren Hladun – Graduate Trainee
Lauren graduated from The University of Nottingham, where she studied a range of livestock, crop and business modules, with a first class degree in BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Industrial Placement Award. In her final year project, Lauren conducted a national investigation into the extent and importance of diversification on the modern farm business across England.
Awards achieved on graduation, included the Longwill and the RASE Agricultural Student of the Year awards and the Rural Farm Business Management prize for developing an effective business diversification plan for a cereal based business.
Lauren has gained practical farm experience, including several seasons of lambing, assisting on the dairy, showing and handling cattle and involvement in routine arable operations.
Through a placement with McDonalds UK, she also gained great insight into the supply chain of their ingredients, from farm to front counter, with a particular focus on the pig industry. As well as spending eight months across outdoor breeding and indoor finishing pig units with Tulip, Lauren also spent time working in an abattoir, gained an insight into potato production with McCain, on broilers with Cargill, and beef with Blade Farming.
From a Lincolnshire farming family, she has gained arable experience including growing of cereals and root vegetables, from planting through to grading to storage.
She has also worked with Limagrain UK on barley breeding trials, Albert Bartlett & Sons, Fountain’s Plants and undertook voluntary work on safari in Botswana and South Africa.
Lauren is working closely with PIW team of experienced advisers, shadowing their on farm visits and pursuing coursework to develop her auditing skills.