Meet The Team

Rupert Hargreaves launched Global Plant Genetics Ltd with co-owner Jamie Petchell in 2015. Prior to this, he was a shareholder and Managing Director of one of Europe’s largest berry and asparagus nurseries. In a short space of time, Global Plant Genetics has become one of the world’s leading Intellectual Property companies specialising in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grape rootstocks and asparagus.

Background information on Rupert Hargreaves:

  • Rupert is a highly effective company Director whose business experience and diverse background add great value to stakeholders at all levels.
  • Rupert has become a highly respected figure in the berry industry worldwide, working with many leading international breeding programs, growers and marketing companies. His extensive knowledge of Intellectual Property, the berry industry and the international market place have become key assets to the fast-growing development of Global Plant Genetics.
  • Having studied Horticulture at the University of Greenwich, Rupert continued his quest for continued personal and professional development by completing all sectors of the Institute of Directors training courses at Loughborough Business School, Gateway to Global Growth at Cranfield Business School and numerous other advanced training and team building courses. He is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and a Freeman of The City of London. He currently is an Honorary Assistant to the Court of the Livery Company.
  • He has numerous other business interests associated with horticulture and the financial services industries. He is focused on adding value to any business propositions and companies that he is involved with by taking a direct, no nonsense, approach.

Rupert lives in West Norfolk on the coast where he enjoys spending quality time with his son Fred and walking his dog. He can often be found in a swimming pool or sailing and has a strong passion for horse racing which can take him anywhere from Newmarket to Dubai. He is a keen traveller, loves cooking and has an affection for quality wine and fine dining.

+44 (0) 1485 210091 +44 (0) 7469 947590 rupert@globalplantgenetics.com

Jamie Petchell is co-owner of Global Plant Genetics Ltd. He oversees the company’s operations in asparagus, blackberries and raspberries. This involves working with plant breeders to identify new varieties and then with produce businesses, growers and nurseries worldwide to develop them.

The 5 important things you should know about Jamie:

  • Jamie became a Company Director at a young age and is now well-regarded across the globe for his knowledge of asparagus and berry crops. He specialises in Intellectual Property management and the development of asparagus seed supply in a range of growing climates.
    • Jamie has a keen focus on the asparagus crop, particularly with regards to varietal development and the choice of plant material. He has travelled the world, working on asparagus and has strong to connections to leading breeders, nurseries, growers and produce businesses. These relationships have enabled him to become both technically and commercially proficient in the asparagus crop as a whole.
    • Jamie has undertaken a vast array of high level, professional business training. This includes a residential ‘Sales Directors’ course at the Cranfield School of Management, as well as tailored courses by the Institute of Directors at the Loughborough School of Business in ‘The Role of the Company Director’, ‘Effective Marketing Strategies’ and ‘The Director's Role in Strategy and Marketing’. In addition, he undertook a UKTI course at Cranfield entitled ‘Gateway to Global Growth’.
    • Jamie is a member of the Institute of Directors, regularly attending their national events to increase his professional network of contacts. He is also a student project supervisor at Hadlow College in Kent. In this role, he works with students conducting trials on behalf of Global Plant Genetics in order to ensure they gain the maximum benefits from the projects. Further, he has been involved in student projects at Nottingham Trent University’s Business School. He liaises closely with his regional Department for International Trade, partaking in development courses and seeking new export opportunities for Global Plant Genetics.
    • Jamie is based in Spalding, UK. Outside work, he is most likely to be seen cycling, both on the road as well as mountain biking. His interests have taken him far afield in pursuit of this passion, including an epic cycle from Nicaragua through Costa Rica and into Panama. He regularly takes on mountain climbs from the cycling Tours of France, Spain and Italy, especially in the Alps and Pyrenees. Jamie speaks a good level of French and is currently improving his Spanish through interactive Skype lessons. He is a regular overseas traveller and cites his favourite destinations as Thailand, Zanzibar, France and the USA. His other interests include attending live music events, especially rock, home cooking and reading (cycling books of course!).
    +44 (0) 7736 783893 jamie@globalplantgenetics.com

    Paul Ward joined Global Plant Genetics Ltd as technical representative, having previously been a group technical director with a UK berry marketing company. He has gained over 30 years of experience in all technical aspects of a range of crops. These include UK vegetables, glasshouse salads, potatoes from Egypt, Spain and UK, tropical, stone fruit and cherries for Malet Azoulay / UnivegUK worldwide, before moving to berry crops. Motivation: Technical excellence, industry leading innovation and commercial awareness at all times.

    The 5 important things you should know about Paul:

    • Paul is highly motivated: no challenge is too great for him. He started life in ADAS and within two years was managing the whole technical, production and supply side of a leading UK co-operative in the 1990s.
    • His experience is diverse. As an extension agronomist, he has worked worldwide in delivering sustainable, complete supply chain horticultural solutions for leading suppliers to the UK’s leading retailers.
    • He is well regarded within the stone fruit industry across the globe.
    • Qualifications gained include a certificate and degree in horticulture (Agronomy) UCD, BASIS and FACTS qualified, Basic Hygiene training (Level 2), HACCP training, Auditor training, including Field to Fork, Waitrose Risk Assessment training and senior management / director training by More People and Mdina.
    • Key feature: All businesses Paul has worked at have grown rapidly and profitably by delivering highly innovative products to their customers. He was a key part in the rapid growth of Univeg UK from £17M to £265M in 16 years. He has established grower clubs worldwide, helped write many protocols now used in industry, been involved in ground breaking post-harvest solutions, played key roles in global crisis management issues, such as morpholine in fruit coatings, and glass in South African packaging and until recently, sat on the Pesticides and Food Chemicals group within the Fresh Produce Consortium.
    • Paul lives in Lincolnshire with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about education for his children. He is an active member of the Shepherd’s Food Ministry charity, helping Nigerian smallholders to store and market their produce. He loves motor biking and is a long distance single sculler with Lincoln Rowing Centre. Paul has travelled extensively and enjoys communicating with people in all walks of life. He also makes a brilliant stir fry!
    +44 (0) 1205 368090 +44 (0) 7470 452007 paul.ward@globalplantgenetics.com

    Claire Donkin joined Global Plant Genetics as a technical associate, following eight years of experience as an independent agronomy and technical service provider. During this time, she has worked from grower to board level and provided agronomic, post harvest and due diligence guidance over a wide range of speciality crops. These range from protected and open field herbs to stone fruit grown in technical complexity and customer delivery, directly serving several top tier British and European retailers.




  1. Claire has specialised in asparagus agronomy and research. She has Master of Philosophy in Soil Science from the University of Aberdeen. Both soil management and sustainability remain strong passions. Alongside this, Claire is BASIS and FACTS qualified in Commercial Horticulture and an ongoing member of the professional register. She also has HACCP, Basic Food Hygiene, Food Law, Waitrose Farm Assessment version 3 and BRC Auditor qualifications.
  2. Claire has forged strong links with a network of international researchers and funders. She is highly successful in translating the best findings into practical guidance for growers and producers. She has been working with the scientific community for 15 years and has a strong record of commissioning industry focussed, commercially meaningful projects and implementing the results for grower benefit.
  3. Claire is based in Leominster, UK. Outside work, she is the mum of one proudly fresh produce consuming, energetic toddler. She has recently started cross country running and is looking forward to completing her first half marathon trail run in 2017. She also plays an active part in the family farm in Bedfordshire and is an enthusiastic reader, traveller and music fan.





  4. +44 (0) 7792 364661 claire.donkin@globalplantgenetics.com

    Rupert Hargreaves

    Rupert Hargreaves launched Global Plant Genetics Ltd with co-owner Jamie Petchell in 2015. Prior to this, he was a shareholder and Managing Director of one of Europe’s largest berry and asparagus nurseries. In a short space of time, Global Plant Genetics has become one of the world’s leading Intellectual Property companies specialising in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grape rootstocks and asparagus.

    Background information on Rupert Hargreaves:

    • Rupert is a highly effective company Director whose business experience and diverse background add great value to stakeholders at all levels.
    • Rupert has become a highly respected figure in the berry industry worldwide, working with many leading international breeding programs, growers and marketing companies. His extensive knowledge of Intellectual Property, the berry industry and the international market place have become key assets to the fast-growing development of Global Plant Genetics.
    • Having studied Horticulture at the University of Greenwich, Rupert continued his quest for continued personal and professional development by completing all sectors of the Institute of Directors training courses at Loughborough Business School, Gateway to Global Growth at Cranfield Business School and numerous other advanced training and team building courses. He is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and a Freeman of The City of London. He currently is an Honorary Assistant to the Court of the Livery Company.
    • He has numerous other business interests associated with horticulture and the financial services industries. He is focused on adding value to any business propositions and companies that he is involved with by taking a direct, no nonsense, approach.

    Rupert lives in West Norfolk on the coast where he enjoys spending quality time with his son Fred and walking his dog. He can often be found in a swimming pool or sailing and has a strong passion for horse racing which can take him anywhere from Newmarket to Dubai. He is a keen traveller, loves cooking and has an affection for quality wine and fine dining.

    Jamie Petchell

    Jamie Petchell is co-owner of Global Plant Genetics Ltd. He oversees the company’s operations in asparagus, blackberries and raspberries. This involves working with plant breeders to identify new varieties and then with produce businesses, growers and nurseries worldwide to develop them.

    The 5 important things you should know about Jamie:

    • Jamie became a Company Director at a young age and is now well-regarded across the globe for his knowledge of asparagus and berry crops. He specialises in Intellectual Property management and the development of asparagus seed supply in a range of growing climates.
      • Jamie has a keen focus on the asparagus crop, particularly with regards to varietal development and the choice of plant material. He has travelled the world, working on asparagus and has strong to connections to leading breeders, nurseries, growers and produce businesses. These relationships have enabled him to become both technically and commercially proficient in the asparagus crop as a whole.
      • Jamie has undertaken a vast array of high level, professional business training. This includes a residential ‘Sales Directors’ course at the Cranfield School of Management, as well as tailored courses by the Institute of Directors at the Loughborough School of Business in ‘The Role of the Company Director’, ‘Effective Marketing Strategies’ and ‘The Director's Role in Strategy and Marketing’. In addition, he undertook a UKTI course at Cranfield entitled ‘Gateway to Global Growth’.
      • Jamie is a member of the Institute of Directors, regularly attending their national events to increase his professional network of contacts. He is also a student project supervisor at Hadlow College in Kent. In this role, he works with students conducting trials on behalf of Global Plant Genetics in order to ensure they gain the maximum benefits from the projects. Further, he has been involved in student projects at Nottingham Trent University’s Business School. He liaises closely with his regional Department for International Trade, partaking in development courses and seeking new export opportunities for Global Plant Genetics.
      • Jamie is based in Spalding, UK. Outside work, he is most likely to be seen cycling, both on the road as well as mountain biking. His interests have taken him far afield in pursuit of this passion, including an epic cycle from Nicaragua through Costa Rica and into Panama. He regularly takes on mountain climbs from the cycling Tours of France, Spain and Italy, especially in the Alps and Pyrenees. Jamie speaks a good level of French and is currently improving his Spanish through interactive Skype lessons. He is a regular overseas traveller and cites his favourite destinations as Thailand, Zanzibar, France and the USA. His other interests include attending live music events, especially rock, home cooking and reading (cycling books of course!).

      Paul Ward

      Paul Ward joined Global Plant Genetics Ltd as technical representative, having previously been a group technical director with a UK berry marketing company. He has gained over 30 years of experience in all technical aspects of a range of crops. These include UK vegetables, glasshouse salads, potatoes from Egypt, Spain and UK, tropical, stone fruit and cherries for Malet Azoulay / UnivegUK worldwide, before moving to berry crops. Motivation: Technical excellence, industry leading innovation and commercial awareness at all times.

      The 5 important things you should know about Paul:

      • Paul is highly motivated: no challenge is too great for him. He started life in ADAS and within two years was managing the whole technical, production and supply side of a leading UK co-operative in the 1990s.
      • His experience is diverse. As an extension agronomist, he has worked worldwide in delivering sustainable, complete supply chain horticultural solutions for leading suppliers to the UK’s leading retailers.
      • He is well regarded within the stone fruit industry across the globe.
      • Qualifications gained include a certificate and degree in horticulture (Agronomy) UCD, BASIS and FACTS qualified, Basic Hygiene training (Level 2), HACCP training, Auditor training, including Field to Fork, Waitrose Risk Assessment training and senior management / director training by More People and Mdina.
      • Key feature: All businesses Paul has worked at have grown rapidly and profitably by delivering highly innovative products to their customers. He was a key part in the rapid growth of Univeg UK from £17M to £265M in 16 years. He has established grower clubs worldwide, helped write many protocols now used in industry, been involved in ground breaking post-harvest solutions, played key roles in global crisis management issues, such as morpholine in fruit coatings, and glass in South African packaging and until recently, sat on the Pesticides and Food Chemicals group within the Fresh Produce Consortium.
      • Paul lives in Lincolnshire with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about education for his children. He is an active member of the Shepherd’s Food Ministry charity, helping Nigerian smallholders to store and market their produce. He loves motor biking and is a long distance single sculler with Lincoln Rowing Centre. Paul has travelled extensively and enjoys communicating with people in all walks of life. He also makes a brilliant stir fry!

      Claire Donkin

      Claire Donkin joined Global Plant Genetics as a technical associate, following eight years of experience as an independent agronomy and technical service provider. During this time, she has worked from grower to board level and provided agronomic, post harvest and due diligence guidance over a wide range of speciality crops. These range from protected and open field herbs to stone fruit grown in technical complexity and customer delivery, directly serving several top tier British and European retailers.




    1. Claire has specialised in asparagus agronomy and research. She has Master of Philosophy in Soil Science from the University of Aberdeen. Both soil management and sustainability remain strong passions. Alongside this, Claire is BASIS and FACTS qualified in Commercial Horticulture and an ongoing member of the professional register. She also has HACCP, Basic Food Hygiene, Food Law, Waitrose Farm Assessment version 3 and BRC Auditor qualifications.
    2. Claire has forged strong links with a network of international researchers and funders. She is highly successful in translating the best findings into practical guidance for growers and producers. She has been working with the scientific community for 15 years and has a strong record of commissioning industry focussed, commercially meaningful projects and implementing the results for grower benefit.
    3. Claire is based in Leominster, UK. Outside work, she is the mum of one proudly fresh produce consuming, energetic toddler. She has recently started cross country running and is looking forward to completing her first half marathon trail run in 2017. She also plays an active part in the family farm in Bedfordshire and is an enthusiastic reader, traveller and music fan.