Non-Executive Chairman


Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) Ltd is one of four UK Agri-Tech Centres launched under BEIS supported by Innovate UK and established in 2015.

As a unique, independent nexus between UK government, researchers and industry, CHAP builds innovation networks to identify and accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions to drive transformative change in sustainable crop productivity.

Eden Search was invited by the Nominations Committee to attend a competitive, three way pitch process to present their approach, network and track record in the sector and after careful consideration were chosen as the right partner with CHAP for the Non-Executive Chair search.

The brief was clear. To find a shortlist of industry renowned and experienced Non-Executive Chairs to lead the Board and support the business as it strikes a balance between driving the commercialisation of the CHAP capabilities as well as influence key stakeholders and provide the CHAP Executive the resources and strategic clarity to succeed in accelerating its growth. The focus was on engaging with the best talent, be that in the UK or overseas.

“We would like to commend Eden for the quality of its work in support of CHAP, the Committee found it easy to work with the Eden team, who delivered the brief professionally and to time and budget during peculiar times”.

Dr Andrew Swift Chair of the Nomination Committee

Our approach

Our Head of Research and Managing Director carried out an extensive consultation process with the retiring Chair, CEO and six Non-Exec Directors to create a clear shared vison for the character, values and skills required for the role. Eden moved quickly to identify, screen, assess and validate a longlist of fifty candidates with the relevant experience and, importantly a passion for the impact of technology and desire to stimulate UK agricultural productivity.

Despite the challenges of the ‘Covid Lockdown’ during the search, Eden delivered a detailed shortlist of six highly qualified candidates for the project with all candidates invited for video interview. The Eden Operations Team managed both client and candidate interview schedules which was not easy given the large non-exec team at CHAP who played an active part in the selection process.

The results

After an extensive search and interview process, CHAP appointed Dr Peter Quinn. Peter is currently CEO of Genius Foods and was previously divisional MD of Samworth Brothers. In addition, he holds several NED positions in the Agri-Tech/Produce sector. He is an expert in transformational turnarounds, and the creation of growth and value strategies through organisational alignment and ingenuity. Importantly, he is personally committed to supporting CHAP’s vision for the future.