Derek Carless

Head of Farm Economics

Image of staff member Derek Carless


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Leads the Digital Grain Passport project for AHDB on behalf of industry. Having first filled in a paper grain passport in the mid-1990s and having been involved in the earlier pilot project from 2014 to 2017, Derek has lots of experience of how a digital passport could work for all parts of the supply chain as well as a good understanding of the benefits and the challenges.

Also responsible for the team delivering farm business improvement activity, principally through benchmarking and data, with the Farmbench and Farm Business Review tools. The Farm Economics team support farmers through every stage of the process from registration and data entry to helping farmers understand what the reports are showing and facilitating group benchmarking meetings where farmers learn best practice from each other. In addition, the team undertake sector-wide analysis using aggregated production economics data from a number of sources in order to produce insights for industry’s benefit.

Derek is a graduate of the Royal Agricultural College and spent ten years working on farms with combinable crop, potato, sugar beet, dairy, beef, lamb, fruit and hop enterprises across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, prior to joining AHDB in 2009.

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