John Kirkpatrick hails from a fourth-generation beef/sheep farming family based in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. A passionate, enthusiastic agriculturalist, he has worked in the agriculture industry for 18 years and is currently employed as an agricultural manager for poultry and eggs at TESCO Supermarkets PLC.
A scholar of Harper Adams University in Shropshire, England, Kirkpatrick initially worked with the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department at the outset of his career as an agricultural policy adviser. He discovered opportunities in the intensive livestock sector, namely broiler chickens and laying hens, which led him to both national and international opportunities in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Brazil, Thailand, India and many countries in Europe.
He is responsible for agricultural supply across feed mills, breeders, hatcheries, grow out, catching/transport and slaughter for the following species: chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and eggs. In addition, he is responsible for feed sustainability and security across all monogastric and ruminant species at TESCO.
Kirkpatrick has led a significant change program across the TESCO poultry and egg division, which is focused on improvement based on science, evidence and factual information. One specific area that he has developed in order to deliver to customer expectations is welfare outcome measure reporting, providing tools to benchmark this concept not only within the country, but globally.
He currently manages, in partnership with suppliers and third party audit provider Integra, a diverse and challenging global portfolio; however, it is one that presents significant opportunities for the future of U.K. agriculture. Kirkpatrick describes himself as “a farmer in TESCO,” bringing a very practical and straight-talking approach to grocery retail.
He is passionate about great agricultural production across global supply chains and regularly challenges farmers and suppliers to maintain, and indeed enhance, the high standards expected by customers.