Matthew is the Managing Director of Naylor Flowers Ltd, a Lincolnshire-based company which supplies 50 million British flowers each year to supermarkets including Waitrose, Aldi and the Co-operative. He was a Crown Estate Nuffield Scholar (2006) studying product differentiation in small businesses. He became an OFC Director in 2017.
In this film, Matthew explains more about his business and the Oxford Farming Conference.
“Before I applied to become a director I had attended Oxford for many years as a delegate. I always thoroughly enjoyed the conference, finding it not just highly-stimulating, but also a very warm and convivial environment. I have formed many friendships there and have met lots of people with similar values.
"The discussions at Oxford each January shape the industry; problems and opportunities are not just discussed at the conference, but allegiances are formed to get to grips with them.
"Since becoming a director I have realised how much meticulous planning goes into the event. The programme of speakers is carefully curated and there are many traditional aspects to the conference which have to be respected and challenged simultaneously. This is why the board requires a diverse mix of directors, it needs to reflect the range of challenges and possibilities that face food producers and land managers.
"The role of director is more time-consuming than one might imagine and the board meetings involve intense discussions about details. This is all done in very good humour, as you are surrounded by intelligent, passionate and sociable people. I have already gained a lot from being challenged, corrected, inspired and educated by my fellow directors and I'm learning skills that are of great benefit personally and in my business.
"Clearly there is much uncertainty ahead for farmers and the OFC has a pivotal role to play in rising above the noise of self-interest to lead the farming industry towards a secure future where it can effectively meet the needs of society in a sustainable and inclusive way.”
If you are interested in applying to become a director, find out more HERE.