RAU welcomes new Chair of Governing Council

13 Dec 2019

Global food industry expert John Pain has been appointed as Chair of the Royal Agricultural University’s (RAU) Governing Council.

John will take over from The Rt Hon Michael Jack CBE – ex Fylde MP, former Chair of Topps Tiles plc and Chairman of Gs Fresh Produce- who retires from the role on 1 January 2020.

John Pain worked for The Wendy’s Company from 2011 to 2019 as Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Middle East (APME), doubling its restaurant count and entering new markets including Kuwait, India and Japan.

With a degree in Agricultural Economics from Newcastle University and an MBA from the University of Leicester, John has a background in marketing with leading UK brands such as Sainsbury’s, Nabisco and Diageo.

His career in International Quick Service Restaurants began in 1994 at KFC GB followed by assignments as Marketing Director for Yum! Brands in the Middle East, South Africa, Asia Pacific and VP of Marketing at Taco Bell. He returned to the UK for four years in 2007, as Marketing Director of the GBP2Bn Compass Group UK & Ireland business, before returning to the international arena with Wendy’s in 2011.

For three years, he was a board member and trustee of the Institute for Grocery Distribution, the UK’s leading research body for the grocery industry. He now runs his own consultancy business, Growth Cubed Ltd. and is a non-executive director of Assured Food Standards.

John said: “The RAU is a unique institution with a long history of academic achievement dating back to 1845, and which remains well placed to develop future leaders of the agri-food sector. I am delighted to be joining at such an exciting moment in its development.

“These are challenging times for the land-based sector and I firmly believe the RAU is perfectly positioned to help future leaders manage that uncertainty, through excellence in education and research, and deep sector expertise.

“My own education began with a degree in agricultural economics and my entire career has been in the food industry. That foundation in agriculture served me well, and I could not be more excited and proud to lead the outstanding team of staff and governors at the RAU as we take the University into the next chapter of growth and impact on the world.

“I would also like to say a huge thank you to my predecessor, The Rt Hon Michael Jack, for his assistance with my transition and his excellent work and dedication to the RAU.”

Outgoing Chair The Rt Hon Michael Jack said: "It has been a pleasure to work with such a committed group of people and while I am sad to retire as Chair, I am also delighted that Council have chosen an outstanding individual to succeed me. John Pain's extensive food industry credentials and rich management experience mean he is ideally placed to guide the Governing Council. His leadership will help shape the RAU’s work to deliver the skills needed by Britain's 21st Century Food and Farming industries."

Professor Joanna Price, Vice-Chancellor of the RAU said: “I am delighted that John Pain has accepted the position of Chair of Governors and I am looking forward to working with him. John’s expertise as a consumer marketeer and leader in the food industry will be invaluable to the University as it strives to ensure that its mission and brand are relevant for future generations of students and our other stakeholders.  Working in partnership and extending our international reach are central pillars of the RAU’s new strategic plan, and John’s experience of building effective collaborations across the globe will also be of enormous benefit.”