Dr John Meadley

Former Chairman

Dr John Meadley - Former Chairman

After graduating from Wye College, John took up a post teaching crop production at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland – the start of a career spanning more than 40 years in overseas development.

Returning to the UK he joined an international agricultural consulting company, setting up his own company in 1983 to promote investment in the developing world.

This work took him from China through SE Asia and Africa to the Caribbean. During this time he was also a visiting professor at Cranfield University and was awarded the MBE for his work overseas. After winding up the company in 2000 he became involved in post-conflict work in Sierra Leone and Liberia, focusing on rebuilding the rural economies. He is currently working with entrepreneurs involved in the sanitation sector in Africa.

He has remained close to agriculture throughout. His work in the developing world has made him acutely aware both of the fragility of the planet and the absurdity of using half the world’s grain to feed livestock.

This came up in conversation during a chance meeting with farmers John Turner and John Crisp at a Transition Farming conference in Exeter in 2009. This resulted in the idea of trying to bring together people with a shared interest in raising livestock wholly on pasture. The rest is history.

Affectionately known as the sheepdog, John has gnawed away in the background encouraging others, doing the legal stuff and taking the initial steps to creating a brand for meat from ruminant animals that have only ever eaten grass or forage crops.

He is a Director of Transition Stroud and has recently brought together ten secondary schools (8,000 teenagers) to explore sustainability over the next three years.

John’s wife Fiona was the finance director of their company and is now an artist. Their son Tom is an accomplished keyboard player, accompanying his Dad on clarinet, in a local jazz band on Friday nights.

Contact John