Book your place for our fifth annual Leadership Symposium which takes place on 7th November 2019 at Rothamsted Research Centre in Harpenden, Herts.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers from the food, drink and grocery industry including Sir Terry Leahy, Steve Murrells (Co-op), Kate Swann (SSP Group) and Fiona Ball (Sky).

The audience is unique - 100 state school sixth form students from all over the country alongside senior management from consumer goods businesses. Companies booked to attend include Asda, Tesco, Warburtons, Alpro, Hall Hunter, Stateside, Addo Food Group, Moy Park and Supply Chain Solutions Network.

Reserve your place now to hear some of the most well respected and expert figures in our industry share what they’ve learned in business, have the opportunity to ask them your questions, hear panel discussions and connect with colleagues and future employees of industry.

All proceeds and ticket sales from the Leadership Symposium support Working Options in Education and GroceryAid.

Working Options in Education helps young people (14-18) to aim high and fulfil their potential. Its employability and life skills programme is delivered free in schools, colleges and online, through its well-established links with employers.

GroceryAid is the national charity that helps people across the whole of the grocery industry – from the largest factory, through the supply chain, to the smallest store.

If you have any questions regarding the event please contact the Event Team on +44 (0)1865 823895 or symposium@tmb-events.com




The Leadership Symposium is a unqiue and lively event attended by delegates from across the food, drink and grocery industry including commercial managers and suppliers but is relevant to management at all levels and from all disciplines. Join us to:

Hear some of the most well respected figures in the industry share their thoughts on business, leadership, personal development and diversity.

  • Connect with colleagues and future employees of industry.
  • Experience an informative learning day of management development and team building.
  • Benefit from fantastic networking opportunities. 

All tickets purchased support Working Options in Education and GroceryAid and enables state sixth form students to join the event, share the experience with delegates from business and take with them a very positive view of working in our industry. 


This year The Symposium will be bought to you once again from Rothamsted Research Centre, Harpenden.

Rothamsted Research Centre, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ

BY ROAD From the M1

Take J9 off the M1, follow the signs to Redbourn - Go past the Hertfordshire County Showground on your right - At the roundabout take the first exit (left) and follow the B487 until the next roundabout - At the roundabout take the first exit (left) onto the A1081, Rothamsted Research is signposted on your left


Harpenden is 28 mins by Train from London St Pancras (adjoined with London Kings Cross). Taxis are available on arrival at Harpenden station. Rothamsted Research is Approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the station, please follow directions below

PARKING - There is plenty of free parking at Rothamsted, please follow the signs for visitor’s car parking


Our Host Jeremy Thompson,
Acclaimed SkyNews Anchor-man

Jeremy Thompson is one of the UK’s most experienced and acclaimed TV newsmen. A journalist for over 50 years, he’s worked for the BBC, ITN and Sky News reporting from every corner of the world. He ran bureaux in Asia, Africa and America, covering many of the most important news stories of our times, including Tiananmen Square, the election of Nelson Mandela, 9/11, two Gulf Wars, the Genocide in Rwanda and the Balkan Conflict.

Sir Terry Leahy

Sir Terry Leahy, was appointed Chief Executive of Tesco PLC in March 1997 and retired from this position in March 2011. He received a Knighthood for services to food retailing in the 2002 New Year Honours and in the same year was made a Freeman of the City of Liverpool and is a member of the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership Advisory Board. In March 2008 he was nominated by Retail Week as Retail Leader of the Year. From 2005 to 2010 he was voted as Britain’s Most Admired Leader by Management Today and in 2004 he was named European Businessman of the year by Fortune Magazine. In 2010 he received the Daily Telegraph’s Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business a Lifetime Achievement award from Director Magazine and was voted Business Person of the Year by the Sunday Times. Terry is now a part-time senior advisor to Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the US private equity firm and holds various Chair and Executive Committee memberships.

Steve Murrells
Chief Executive Officer, The Co-op

Steve Murrells became Co-op Group CEO in March 2017 having previously led the Co-op’s Food business since 2012. Steve now has overall responsibility for all the Co-op’s businesses - Food, Funeralcare, Insurance and Legal Services which now includes the recently acquired Simplify Probate, making the Co-op the leading provider of probate services in the UK. Steve has also overseen the acquisition of Nisa Retail Limited which now sees the Co-op wholesale to over 7,700 stores across the UK. The Co-op is the UK’s largest mutual business with more than 4.5 million members, 63,000 colleagues and a presence in every postal region of the country.   Previous to joining the Co-op Steve has held senior leadership roles in European and UK based food retail businesses, including Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Steve spent three years in manufacturing as CEO of the UK division of Danish Crown before joining the Co-op.

Kate Swann
CEO, SSP Group

Kate joined SSP as Chief Executive Officer in September 2013. Kate began her retail career with Tesco before working with some of the UK’s best-known companies, including Homepride Foods, Coca-Cola Schweppes and Dixons Stores Group. She then joined Homebase, ultimately in the role of managing director, and in 2000 was made managing director of Argos. Kate joined WH Smith as Chief Executive Officer in 2003. Kate joined SSP in 2013 floating it on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. SSP won the best new PLC in 2015 and its share price has well over trebled since flotation. She was ranked number 21 in the Financial Times’ ‘Europe’s Top 25 Women in Business’ in 2006, and in the same year Fortune listed her as one of the 50 most powerful women in business. In 2012 she received both the Daily Telegraph award for Business Leader of the Decade at the National Business Awards and the Institute for Turnaround Chairman’s Special Award for exceptional and extraordinary performance in the transformation of WH Smith. Kate graduated from the University of Bradford in 1986 with a BSc in Business Management, received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2007 and was appointed Chancellor in 2015. Kate also joined England Hockey as a Non Executive Director in 2016 and became a Non Executive Director of Independent Vetcare in 2017.

Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan, born in 1972, stood as the Conservative Candidate for Loughborough at the 2005 General Election and again in 2010, when she was first elected to Parliament to be Loughborough’s voice in Westminster. She has been married to Jonathan, an architect and Councillor for the Loughborough Outwoods Ward, since July 2000 and they have a son who was born in 2008. Nicky studied law at Oxford University. She worked as a solicitor specialising in Corporate Law advising a range of private and public companies from 1994 till her election in 2010. Nicky previously served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities (2014 - 16); Financial Secretary to the Treasury (2014); Minister for Women (2014); Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2013 - 14); an Assistant Government Whip (2012 - 13); and the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, Cabinet Minister for Universities and Science (2010 - 12). Nicky was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Loughborough in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections and, in July 2017, she was elected by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons as Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. She is the author of ‘Taught not Caught: Educating for Character in the 21st Century.’

Fiona Ball
Group Head of Inspirational Business and Sky Ocean Rescue, Sky

Fiona joined Sky in 2005 and leads the Group’s work on the environment (from reducing the company’s impact on the environment to ensuring its product and services are sustainable), child safety, access services and responsible sourcing. Alongside this, she was responsible for Sky Rainforest Rescue, Sky’s six year campaign and partnership with WWF to inspire customers to get involved and help save one billion trees in the Amazon Rainforest and is now actively involved in Sky’s new campaign, Sky Ocean Rescue, which aims to protect the health of our oceans by ensuring the business leads industry by being single use plastic free in its operations, products and supply chain by 2020. She is responsible for opinion former engagement and reporting the company’s sustainability performance and strategy.

Prior to joining Sky, Fiona was the Global Environment Manager at a multinational telecommunications company.
Fiona is a Chartered Environmentalist and a fellow member of the Institute of Environmental Management.

Jenny Costa
Founder of rubies in the rubble

Jenny Costa is the founder of Rubies in the Rubble, an award-winning, sustainable food brand known for making great tasting condiments with a conscience. She started making her first batches of relishes from surplus in 2011 and since then has been working with farmers and producers across the country to put surplus fruit and vegetables to good use. Having been the first movers in building a food brand in the ‘anti food waste’ space, their range of ketchups, mayo and relishes have won numerous awards and are stocked across the country in stores including Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsburys, EAT, Marriott and Virgin Trains. Jenny graduated with an MA in Mathematics and Economics in 2008 before working in the city for 2 years. However, having always had a heart for sustainability and good food, she left in 2011 to launch the food brand ‘Rubies in the Rubble’. Rubies is now launching into ketchups and mayos, with the aim of having an even bigger impact with more mainstream, everyday products.

  • Named as a Female Entrepreneur to watch 2018
  • Global Shaper, World Economic Forum
  • Everline Future Business Award 2016.
  • Real Business Disrupts Food Star 2015
  • Honouree Master of the University at Open University of London 2015
  • Investec Food and Drink Award Entrepreneur, 2014
  • Veuve Clicquot New Generation Business Women Award 2014
  • Marie Claire “Women at the Top 2014’
  • Good Housekeeping Food Hero Award 2013
  • Winner of Ben and Jerry’s Sustainable Business Award Join our Core Campaign 2012

Ash Amirahmadi
Managing Director, Arla Foods UK

Ash was appointed Managing Director of Arla Foods UK on 1 July 2018. He joined Arla’s UK business in 2004 and worked in commercial roles before joining the Leadership Team in 2010 assuming responsibility for Arla’s farmer relationships and building Arla’s corporate reputation. After a brief period as Marketing Director Ash moved to the position of Sales Director in 2016 taking responsibility for growing Arla’s business with UK customers. He began his career at Unilever holding various positions in supply chain and commercial functions, after graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University.

Devie Mohan
co-founder and CEO of Burnmark

Devie Mohan is a writer, speaker and commentator on fintech, and is the co-founder and CEO of Burnmark, a fintech research company, that supplies research and data to global banks and investors. Devie has helped several banks, fintech startups, innovation groups and investors understand the trends in the financial services tech industry, helping them collaborate better. She is a panel member on the ING Group Think Forward initiative on better financial decision making. She writes extensively on innovation, disruption and digitalisation and is a columnist with several publications. She is actively involved in the fintech community and has been listed in the top 10 of several global fintech influencer lists. With a computer engineering background, an MBA and experience working in firms like Goldman Sachs, Ericsson, IBM and Thomson Reuters as well as startups, she has spoken to girls and young women interested in the fast growing technology industry and given advice on STEM based careers. She has given inspirational talks at various high schools and universities around London, and internationally, including at Mayfield Grammar School, John Roan School, Harris Academy Beckenham and Eltham Hill High School in the UK, as well as at Imperial College London, UCL, Coventry University and Chicago Booth School of Business.

Neil Campbell
Managing Director, Warburtons Limited

Neil read law at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and qualified as a Barrister at Law with the Middle Temple before moving into industry with Cadbury Schweppes. After working in both the UK and the US with Cadbury, mainly in marketing, he moved to Pepsico where he spent 20 years spanning the UK, Benelux and North America. He rose through the marketing function to run the Walkers business in the UK and then the Tropicana business in North America. In July 2013 he joined Warburtons as Managing Director. Neil is originally from the North West of England. He is married to Cath and they have three children Joe, Charlie and Max.

Andrew Hawes
Managing Director, Newton

Andrew founded Newton in 2001, age 26, and has grown the firm at an average of 30% per year ever since. The business’s only asset is it’s people and all the growth has been achieved without external investment. Newton has achieved growth and success that less than one in 10,000 businesses achieve. He has built Newton on a belief in ‘fun, friendship and high performance’ and a relentless focus on ensuring Newton add value on every engagement. Newton work with organisations in the Grocery sector and beyond to design and implement large scale improvements to the way their operations perform, delivering 10’s or 100’s of million of pounds of savings and improving performance. He doesn’t believe in the traditional consulting model of clients paying for advice, ideas and reports and insists that Newton put 100% of their fees at risk on every programme, guaranteed against the implementation of results. Andrew has a unique perspective on both the leadership of large, complex organisations and growing and leading a professional services firm. Newton were awarded the ‘UK Best SME’ and ‘Enabler of the Year’ at the National Business Awards.

Adam Leyland
Editor, The Grocer

Adam has been editor of The Grocer, the bible of the food and drink industry, since 2006. A champion of dynamic, campaigning and investigative journalism, he has picked up a string of awards, over a 30-year career as a business journalist and editor. He was voted Editor of the Year at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards 2015 and also won this award in 2009. Other awards won by The Grocer during his tenure have included BSME writer of the year; BSME web editor of the year; BSME specialist team of the year; and PPA features writer of the year (twice). Adam has also interviewed a wide variety of politicians, celebrities and senior business leaders, including Buzz Aldrin, Richie Benaud, Stelios, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir James Dyson, Lord Sainsbury, Sir Philip Green, David Cameron and the press secretary to US President Bill Clinton. Other publications he has launched and/or edited include Real Business, PRWeek (launching the US edition in seven weeks), Press Gazette and PrintWeek. As an authority on issues as diverse as food waste, health and obesity, product innovation, branding, entrepreneurship and food safety, Adam is a very well-known figure on the UK grocery scene, and makes regular appearances on the BBC, ITV, Sky News, Channel 4, the Today Programme and other media, and also regularly chairs conferences and hosts awards. And while he’s a lifelong 'foodie' and 'winophile', Adam is also passionate about the social aspect of food, and has successfully lobbied the government for funding to subsidise food waste redistribution through The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not campaign. He has also, over many years, championed the merits of a balanced diet and common sense in the ongoing debate about obesity. Adam is married with a son and lives in London.

Andrew Isaac Thornton
Owner of Thornton’s Budgens

Andrew Isaac Thornton is an entrepreneur, the owner of Thornton’s Budgens (a supermarket in North London) and the founder of Heart in Business Limited. His life purpose is to put the Heart back into Business and encourage the shift from an obsession with profit, towards a business world where the focus in on ‘growing people, growing business to full potential for a better society’. He has applied these principles to Thornton's Budgens - see what the Huffington Post had to say about his approach. He is currently writing the book “Putting the Heart back into Business” and his aim is to build a network of heartful businesses. He has spearheaded Thornton’s Budgens becoming the first UK supermarket to launch Plastic Free Zones. Andrew was a founder director of social enterprises “The People’s Supermarket” and “Food from the Sky”, founded and ran the retail consultancy SRCG and is a fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Commerce and Industry. He lives in London with his partner and daughter, and has two (growing up!) sons. Andrew grew up in Dublin and is a graduate of University College Dublin, doing both a B.Comm and an MBS.

Anna Botting
Award winning TV presenter

Award winning TV presenter, Anna Botting has covered many major events both from the studio and in the field since joining Sky News. In 2007 she covered the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Portugal and anchored Sky News' 'Inside Iraq' coverage live from Baghdad. She also interviewed disgraced actor Chris Langham in his first sit-down interview since his release from prison. In 2006 she spent two weeks covering the Lebanon war live from Israel and in 2005 covered the death of Pope John Paul II from Poland and Rome. Anna was on air in the studio for both the 'shock and awe' bombing of Baghdad and the invasion of Iraq by American forces in 2003. After covering the Kosovo conflict, she was broadcasting as Serbian leader Slobodan Milosovic was ousted from office. Anna joined Sky as a reporter and during the 1997 election she shadowed Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown throughout his six week campaign. In 2012 Anna was awarded the RTS Presenter of the Year award. She is only the second woman to ever be awarded such an accolade.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior has 79 England Test Caps, was part of the England team that won three Ashes series at home and away and was also a member of the Number One ranked test side in the World in 2011. For most of his career Matt averaged well over 40 with the bat and was regarded as one of the best batsman, wicket keeper’s in the world. Since being forced to retire early through an achilles injury in 2014 Matt has set about forming ONE PRO Group, starting with the creation of ONE PRO Cycling and now ONE PRO Nutrition. He starred in the test cricket film The Edge, released in July 2019.

Matt Prior, former England cricketer, Founder of sports nutrition brand ONE PRO and star of test cricket film The Edge, will join us to share some lessons that can be learned from the pursuit of excellence, leadership and management and talk about what led him to develop his ONE PRO brand.



"There are three very clear reasons as to why we support the Leadership Symposium. Firstly, the dialogue and interaction on key leadership issues is second to none, just look at the speakers! Secondly, there is a real opportunity to learn from others. And ultimately, all the while we are supporting two great causes."

Leendert den Hollander, VP and General Manager for Coca-Cola European Partners

"With inspirational speakers, entrepreneurs and those at the top of their game, the event prompts you to have a rethink about getting the best out of people, whether you’re in a leadership position or not."

Anna Botting, Sky News