Judith Batchelar

Former Sainbury's brand director Judith Batchelar has been appointed as deputy chair of the Environment Agency.

Environment secretary George Eustice confirmed that Batchelar's term will run from 1 April 2022 until the end of her second term on 31 March 2025. This follows the announcement of her reappointment to the EA Board in October 2021.

Richard Macdonald’s term as deputy chair ends on 31 March 2022.

Batchelar will earn £21,002 per year based on a time commitment of five days a month, with an additional responsibility allowance of £4,199 per year.

Food and drink specialist

Batchelarhas worked in the food and drink industry for over 35 years, starting her life in manufacturing before moving into retail at Marks & Spencer. From 2004 to 2021, she worked for Sainsbury’s as director of Sainsbury’s brand with responsibility for all aspects of Sainsbury’s product offer.

A biochemist and nutritionist, Batchelar has an honorary doctorate in agriculture from Harper Adams University, and is a fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), and the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures (RSA).

She is currently chair of the Environment and Business Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and the People and Pay Committee.

From 2013 to 2018 she was chair of the government's AgriTech Council, and now sits on both the Food and Drink Sector, and Natural Environment Research Councils.

She is also is chair of the Rugby Players Association and is a trustee of The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Accounting for Sustainability and The Matt Hampson Foundation, as well as an ambassador for the Woodland Trust.

She was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to farming and the food industry, and is a commissioner on the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.