The Team

Martin Gooch, PhD – Chief Executive Officer / Partner

Martin has 30 years’ management experience in the international agribusiness industry, having worked and completed research projects in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States of America, Asia and the Caribbean. He holds qualifications in crop and animal production, farm management, and has an undergraduate degree in International Business. His Master’s thesis identified factors critical to the success of perishable food value chain alliances. His PhD identified ways to motivate farmers and managers of agri-food businesses to successfully adapt to changing market demands through developing close, strategic relationships and innovative business practices. In 2013 Martin received Bayer Inc.’s “Outstanding Canadian” award for his contribution to “Food Chain Partnerships,” and was appointed Adjunct Professor at the College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph.

S. Caroline Glasbey – Senior Director, Operations and Communications / Partner

Caroline has 30 years’ experience in communication-related roles, including investor relations, corporate communications, community relations, event planning, and business management. In her investor relations role for a number of small and large cap corporations, she was responsible for coordinating, authoring and copyediting corporate proxy and marketing materials, as well as representing the companies as spokesperson to the media and to the financial community.

Lawrence Bonney, PhD – Associate, Value Chain Innovation (Australia)

Lawrence is a Senior Research Fellow at Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) in the University of Tasmania. He is the Convenor of TIA’s Value Chain Program, one of six strategic research areas and also chairs the Australasian Agrifood Value Chain Research Group, a collaborative multi-disciplinary research group at the University of Tasmania. Lawrence conducts systems research and development into how co-innovation can be achieved in agri-food value chains as well as the development of innovative regions and industries. He currently leads several value chain projects in Australia and also conducts value chain research in developing countries, including Vietnam and Papua New Guinea.

Benjamin Dent, PhD – Associate, Sustainability (UK)

Ben has expertise in agri-food sector value chains, sustainability, especially climate change and using consumer research to enhance value chain performance. Ben has international experience having worked in the UK, North America, Africa and Australasia. Previously, he spent 12 years in UK government environment and food policies. He works within local food systems, including establishing the UK’s largest regional association of farmers’ markets. Ben was educated at Cambridge University and Imperial College London. His PhD at Queensland University investigated how to create shareholder value from reducing carbon emissions across value chains. Since 2006, he has advised the UK Soil Association on integrating the needs of licensees, consumers, and sustainability within its organic standards.

Dan Laplain – Associate

Dan has a mechanical and production engineering background, and has over 30 years’ progressive operations, quality and project management experience in a variety of industries. As a lean six sigma master blackbelt, he is a recognized expert in developing, marketing and delivering quality management and process improvement initiatives, with a specific focus on improving the performance of value streams and chains. Dan has led, coached or otherwise been significantly involved in hundreds of business and process improvement projects that have saved clients millions of dollars, reduced operating costs, and significantly increased customer satisfaction.

Chris McKittrick – Business Development Associate

Chris contributes to value chain implementation projects. Chris is a highly effective international executive, with experience running companies in Canada, USA, UK and Belgium, including service on internal and external boards. He has proven hands-on leadership, team-building, sales, marketing and operational management abilities in consumer, retail, industrial, service, and distribution sectors — in both private and public corporations. His experience in a wide range of industries, including agri-food, has enabled him to develop excellent business development and strategic planning skills, along with successful operational expertise in start-ups, turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions.

Hon. Lyle Vanclief – Associate

Lyle embarked upon a sixteen-year federal and international political career – he was Member of Parliament for Prince Edward Hastings from 1988 to 2004 and Federal Minister of Agriculture from June 1997 to December 2003. This was preceded by twenty-five years of experience as an agricultural entrepreneur, owning and operating a diversified livestock, fruit and vegetable, grains and oilseeds farm in his homeland, Prince Edward County. With a strong commitment to community service, he serves on a number of boards, providing advisory counsel to organizations and businesses, and is currently chair of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. Lyle is a Professional Agrologist, and has been honoured as a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and with the Canadian Independent Spirit Award by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. In 2010, he was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame and served as Honorary Chair of the 2011 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress.

Peter Whitehead, PhD – Associate

Peter has been actively involved in food and packaging waste prevention since 2002. Since 2012 he has been a contractor for WRAP (Waste & Resource Action Plan), working with the major retailers and manufacturers in the UK to reduce food loss and waste as part of the Courtauld Commitments. Peter’s work has examined how key activities (including promotions, product life setting and procurement), can be used to drive down waste levels. Peter also led WRAP’s work on the measurement of waste in the grocery supply chain. Prior to 2012, Peter was the Director of the Food Chain Center (FCC), based at the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). The Food Chain Centre operated from 2002-7/8 and was a key plank in the then government’s policy on sustainable farming and food. FCC pioneered value stream mapping across agri-food value chains, delivering significant cost savings to businesses operating along the value chain. Before joining IGD he worked in MAFF (now Defra) on various policy roles, including initially, on joining, as an economic adviser. Peter has a first degree in economics, a PhD in geography and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Delia Bucknell – Research Associate

Delia has considerable international and Canadian research experience within the agri-food sector. She completed her undergraduate – an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in International Agriculture Land and Business Management – at the Royal Agricultural University in the UK and she holds an MSc in Rural Extension Studies: International Development from the University of Guelph. As the Research Associate for the Dean of Agriculture at the University of Guelph and as a researcher at the George Morris Centre, she has conducted economic, social, environmental and spatial analysis across various sectors of the agri-food industry.

Nicole Marenick – Market Research Associate

Nicole has a background in marketing and communications management, having previously worked client side with B2B and B2C experience. She has primarily worked on value chain management projects including the Ontario Platinum Peach, grass fed beef, and cranberry projects for the Value Chain Management Centre. Additional projects include branding/marketing, investigating the commercial opportunities related to local food and lean/process improvement. Nicole holds an Honours BA and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.