Meet The Team

Rupert Hargreaves launched Global Plant Genetics Ltd with co-owner Jamie Petchell after 25 years building one of Europe’s most successful plant nursery and intellectual property businesses. Global Plant Genetics continues to supply plants but now affords the commercial focus to be adding value in the supply chain through Technical endeavours, Intellectual Property Management and Joint Venture businesses.

Background information on Rupert Hargreaves


  • Rupert is a highly efficient company Director who successfully developed a large International berry and asparagus nursery while adding a world renowned intellectual property division, tissue culture business and ornamental plant company to the portfolio. A strong and well trained teamed were built from board room down to drive this business forward.
  • Rupert has become a highly respected figure in the berry industry worldwide working with many international breeding programs, growers and marketing companies. The foresight to develop berry varietal and agronomy trials both in the UK and throughout the world proved invaluable to the rapid success of the company.
  • 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 The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and a Freeman of The City of London.
  • Transforming his previous business from a family business to a larger corporation Rupert instigated growth at a rate of 10 times in 10 years. Having built a successful management team products were added to the portfolio and international market places exploited.
  • 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 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. Having both been part of and on the board of a successful asparagus and berry business, Jamie is now focused on the Global Plant Genetics enterprise, recognised across the world. This was both in terms of plant supply and Intellectual Property management.

  • Jamie is well regarded around the world for his in depth knowledge of the asparagus crop, particularly in terms of varietal development and choice of plant material. He commissioned what were thought to be the Cranfield School of Management, as well as tailored courses by the Institute of
  • Directors at the UKTI course at Cranfield entitled ‘Gateway to Global Growth’.
  • Jamie oversaw the growth in export revenue during his time as a Commercial Director in his previous role from less than 10% to 55% of overall turnover during tough economic times in the UK.
  • Jamie is based in Spalding, UK. Outside work, Jamie very much enjoys cycling both on the road and mountain biking. His interests have taken him far afield in pursuit of this passion both as a participant, fundraiser and a spectator of the sport. Further, he partakes in other outdoor activities such as hiking and hill walking. He is a regular overseas traveller with favourite destinations so far being France, USA and Canada. The list of upcoming destinations is somewhat more exotic however. He is a keen reader, listener to music and an improving cook!
  • +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.

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

    Rupert Hargreaves

    Rupert Hargreaves launched Global Plant Genetics Ltd with co-owner Jamie Petchell after 25 years building one of Europe’s most successful plant nursery and intellectual property businesses. Global Plant Genetics continues to supply plants but now affords the commercial focus to be adding value in the supply chain through Technical endeavours, Intellectual Property Management and Joint Venture businesses.

    Background information on Rupert Hargreaves


    • Rupert is a highly efficient company Director who successfully developed a large International berry and asparagus nursery while adding a world renowned intellectual property division, tissue culture business and ornamental plant company to the portfolio. A strong and well trained teamed were built from board room down to drive this business forward.
    • Rupert has become a highly respected figure in the berry industry worldwide working with many international breeding programs, growers and marketing companies. The foresight to develop berry varietal and agronomy trials both in the UK and throughout the world proved invaluable to the rapid success of the company.
    • 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 The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and a Freeman of The City of London.
    • Transforming his previous business from a family business to a larger corporation Rupert instigated growth at a rate of 10 times in 10 years. Having built a successful management team products were added to the portfolio and international market places exploited.
    • 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 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. Having both been part of and on the board of a successful asparagus and berry business, Jamie is now focused on the Global Plant Genetics enterprise, recognised across the world. This was both in terms of plant supply and Intellectual Property management.

  • Jamie is well regarded around the world for his in depth knowledge of the asparagus crop, particularly in terms of varietal development and choice of plant material. He commissioned what were thought to be the Cranfield School of Management, as well as tailored courses by the Institute of
  • Directors at the UKTI course at Cranfield entitled ‘Gateway to Global Growth’.
  • Jamie oversaw the growth in export revenue during his time as a Commercial Director in his previous role from less than 10% to 55% of overall turnover during tough economic times in the UK.
  • Jamie is based in Spalding, UK. Outside work, Jamie very much enjoys cycling both on the road and mountain biking. His interests have taken him far afield in pursuit of this passion both as a participant, fundraiser and a spectator of the sport. Further, he partakes in other outdoor activities such as hiking and hill walking. He is a regular overseas traveller with favourite destinations so far being France, USA and Canada. The list of upcoming destinations is somewhat more exotic however. He is a keen reader, listener to music and an improving cook!
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.