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Former ESR boss Graham Smith appointed Federated Farmers CEO

Thursday 5th June 2014

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Former Institute of Environmental Science & Research head Graham Smith has been appointed to take over as chief of rural lobby group Federated Farmers from next month.

Smith was today named chief executive designate, replacing outgoing head Conor English, Federated Farmers said in a statement. The move comes just two months after Smith started as chief executive of Waikato-based business incubator SODA Inc. Prior to that he was CEO of ESR for three years.

“Graham understands the strategic context Federated Farmers operates in and is no stranger to the primary industries, having been a former general manager at AgResearch," president Bruce Wills said. "With a focus on evidence-based policy, Graham will be instrumental in achieving policy outcomes which strike the right balance between our economy and our environment."

English, the brother of Finance Minister Bill English, ends his six-year tenure in charge of the lobby group near the end of July, having signalled his exit in February this year.

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