Dr Julian Little has taken voluntary redundancy from Bayer Crop Science after three decades with the business to start his own consultancy, Julian Little Communications. It will cover agriculture, plant science, communications, issue management, public affairs and media training.

Dr Little started his career in herbicide chemistry research with Rhone-Poulenc Agriculture, which was subsequently merged into Aventis CropScience and then Bayer. His early work with emerging genetic modification advances saw him explaining the technology to local groups such as parish councils. But as the national furore around GM broke around 20 years ago, this turned into a full-time communications role liaising with governments, civil servants NGOs and media to present a positive case for the science; as part of this role, Dr Little chaired the Agricultural Biotechnology Council for 10 years, and until recently, was chair of the Communications group at EuropaBio in Brussels.

He intends to use this experience to advise business clients on communications and issue management; communications with decision makers and influencers such as MPs and civil servants; and achieving regulatory and public policy changes.

“I believe the UK agri-food industry is well placed to prosper in future – it has some of the world’s most innovative agri-tech businesses and farmers,” he says. “But, it needs the tools to ensure it has the “social licence” from consumers and the market – as well as approval from regulators – to fully benefit from scientific progress.”

More information from Dr Little via Julian@JulianLittleCommunications.com or +44 7900 276 999.