Head of Sustainable Growth (CEO)

With a professional background in the equity capital markets, corporate finance and wealth management at a major international investment bank, and having acted as both a Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer, Charlie has been advising the company informally on matters such as financial management and financing strategy ever since he first became a shareholder in 2017. He joined the Board in 2020 and was subsequently invited to take up his current executive role by members of the management team.

Charlie first came across ZCF when evaluating private investments for a hedge fund principal in 2016. “I distinctly remember comparing the competitive advantages of controlled environment agriculture with commercial glasshouses and thinking ‘wow, with really quite modest expansion and the right level of automation, this can truly be part of the solution to the supply and demand imbalance for fresh produce in this country, even before you factor in climate change’. A couple of exciting conversations and a visit to the Clapham farm later, and I became a die-hard fan.”

Charlie is certain that, with its loyal and expanding customer base, growing band of strategic corporate backers, impressive underground farm, ambitious yet achievable growth plans and the unwavering passion of its whole team, the company will continue to go from strength to strength.

Married to an osteopath, and with a passion for the importance of nutrition, Charlie has been a keen follower of the ongoing natural health conversation for over 15 years. An enthusiastic scuba diver and a keen sailor, who has been fortunate enough to compete in ocean races across the world, including crossings of the Atlantic in both directions, he has witnessed first-hand the damaging impact pollution has had on our oceans. These experiences have only furthered his desire to be part of something that has a positive effect on the environment and helps to curb carbon emissions.

Away from business, Charlie is a long-time supporter of Centrepoint, the homeless charity, and derives huge pleasure from being a committed mentor to a number of younger people looking to put their stamp on the world.

Interesting Facts

  • Was brought up on the Isle of Wight
  • Feels equally at home on or under the water
  • Speaks several languages (and is busy learning West Country Burr from Rich)
  • Is a die-hard Chelsea fan
  • Is married to an osteopath mad keen on nutrition
  • Has an aversion to sugar (which he considers a poison)
  • Would grow a pony tail if he had enough hair
  • Has a wicked sense of humour
  • Has a passion for coddled eggs sprinkled with ZCF herbs

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