Richard Ballard

Co-founder & COO

Richard was inspired by the writings of Dickson Despommier and Jeremy Rifkin while studying film at Middlesex University. He felt strongly about the catastrophic trajectory the planet was on, with its carbon-based infrastructure, and decided that he should play an active part in changing the way things were done for the better.

“Like a lot of people, I was fascinated by the history of London and there was a lot of work going on underground at the time, with Crossrail for instance. I started looking at the history of that and for my final thesis I produced a film on the future of cities, with a focus on growing populations and the future of food.”

A conversation on the subject with old school friend Steven Dring turned into further conversations, which then turned into a business plan and the birth of Zero Carbon Food. It was very much a case of “if we don’t do it, who will?”. With almost 10 years of experience involved in every aspect of the industry, from preliminary technology and growing tests to high-level strategic planning, Richard is as passionate as ever about the sustainability cause and has become a respected voice on the topic, giving a TEDx talk and appearing on various panel discussions in the UK and abroad. He has also got something to do with Fast Forward 2030.

Beyond ZCF Richard is actively involved in various organisations which are promoting sustainable solutions for the future. He is a board member at Fast Forward 2030, a network of UK entrepreneurs working towards the SDGs and is a recognised Bill & Melinda Gates Goalkeeper.

Richard’s role at ZCF has changed as the company has grown and evolved. He is currently responsible for wangling fresh investment so we can make it through to a point where we start making a profit, while also ensuring that the company stays focussed on the core values that brought it into existence.

Interesting Facts

  • Studied film at Middlesex University
  • Is pretty handy at Jiu Jitsu, so don't mess
  • His favourite micros are coriander and broccoli
  • Eats a bowl full of our lovely micros for breakfast every day
  • Favourite food (apart from micros) is tapas, Turkish and Thai
  • Currently listening to The Horses of the Gods (his brother's band)
  • His favourite films are Apocalypto, A Prophet and Goodfellas

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