About

Industry-leading genetics in Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Asparagus, Grapes and Nuts for global companies operating in these crops.

Global Plant Genetics was the brainchild of Rupert Hargreaves and Jamie Petchell back in 2015. Having identified a gap in the market for an Intellectual Property company to deliver a world class offer in the trials, protection, marketing and policing of quality berry and asparagus genetics, Global Plant Genetics was formed.

This privately owned company over its first five years quickly became the go to organisation for the world's best plant breeders in Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Asparagus as well as more recently, Grapes and Nuts.

Today, Global Plant Genetics represents the finest Intellectual Property portfolio covering all corners of the world. 

The company is known for its well documented Vision and Values which are communicated through all stakeholders to help deliver the significant growth the company is committed to.

Like many world class organisations, our people are our strength. Global Plant Genetics has a reputation for hiring and training people to a very high standard for which it is justifiably proud.

Take a look at our portfolio of Intellectual Property. We are sure we can help you add value to your company.

Meet the team

Rupert Hargreaves‘s Portrait
Rupert Hargreaves

Company Lead in Strawberry, Blueberry and Grapes

Office Tel: +44 (0) 1485 210091Mobile : +44 (0) 7469 947590 rupert@globalplantgenetics.com
Jamie Petchell‘s Portrait
Jamie Petchell

Company Lead in Raspberry, Blackberry, Asparagus and Nuts

Office Tel: +44 (0) 1485 210091Mobile : +44 (0) 7736 783893 jamie@globalplantgenetics.com
Iulia Negoita‘s Portrait
Iulia Negoita

Licensing and Protection Manager

Mobile : +40 (0) 755 672 886 iulia.negoita@globalplantgenetics.com

Having studied Horticulture at the University of Greenwich, Rupert has completed numerous executive business courses at Harvard Business School, Loughborough Business School, Cranfield Business School. He is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and in 2003 was made a Freeman of The City of London. 

The 3 things you need to know about Rupert are the following:

Rupert is a highly efficient company Director who successfully developed a large International berry and asparagus nursery while adding a world-renowned intellectual property division, tissue culture business and ornamental plant company to the portfolio. A strong and well trained teamed were built from board room down to drive this business forward.

Rupert has become a highly respected figure in the berry industry worldwide working with many international breeding programs, growers and marketing companies covering in excess of 50 countries. The foresight to develop berry varietal trials, commercial strategies and varietal protection throughout the world proved invaluable to the rapid success of Global Plant Genetics.

Rupert lives with his partner Davidia on the coast in Norfolk, England where he enjoys spending quality time with his son Fred and walking his dog. He can often be found in a swimming pool, sailing, kayaking or on an SUP. He has a strong passion for horse racing which can take him anywhere from Newmarket to Chantilly, Dubai to California. He is a keen traveller, loves cooking and has an affection for quality wine and fine dining.

Jamie is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, Cranfield School of Management and Loughborough School of Business. He is a Freeman of the City of London and also a member of the Livery Company “Worshipful Company of Fruiterers”.

The key things you need to know about Jamie are the following:

Jamie heads up the company’s efforts in raspberriesblackberriesasparagus and nuts. He is an experienced Company Director with more than 10 years in such roles within the Intellectual Property and Horticultural sectors. 

Jamie is well regarded around the world for his in-depth knowledge of the crops for which he is responsible, particularly in terms of varietal development in all of the important global growing regions. He works closely with both plant breeders, IP teams, nurseries, growers and produce businesses across the world to help in their varietal development efforts.

Jamie has undertaken a vast array of high level, professional business training. This includes courses at the Cranfield School of Management and Loughborough School of Business. More recently, he has completed the well-renowned Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which included residential placements at Said Business School at the University of Oxford

Jamie is based in Stamford, UK. Outside work, Jamie very much enjoys cycling both on the road and mountain biking. His interests have taken him far afield in pursuit of this passion both as a participant and a spectator of the sport. Further, he partakes in other outdoor activities such as hiking and hill walking. He is a regular overseas traveller with favourite destinations being Thailand, Japan and France. He loves going to live music gigs, is a keen reader and an improving cook!

With a well-rounded background in horticulture (including a MSc in Agricultural Consulting) and a passion for sustainable agriculture as well as new varieties, Iulia is responsible for the business's licensing activities and a range of other areas of IP Management.

The 5 things you need to know about Iulia are the following:

Having lived in the UK previously and worked in the berry and ornamentals sectors as a key point of contact with breeders, growers and nurseries worldwide, Iulia has a passion for plants and an eye for spotting the best varieties, with exciting and unique characteristics. After spending 5 years in the UK, Iulia took a sabbatical year in her career, dedicated to travelling across Europe, the Middle East and Asia in which she discovered a range of different and interesting varieties.

Iulia has a Bachelor’s Diploma in both Agricultural Engineering and Biology as well as a MSc in Agricultural Consulting at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Bucharest and she takes great interest in sustainable agriculture and discovering new and exciting cultivars. 

She also has a United Kingdom Certificate in Agriculture and Horticulture (Distinction) and very much enjoys going to gardening and flower shows at RHS Garden Wisley or visiting Botanical Gardens every time she is travelling across the world.

Iulia is looking forward to the new challenge ahead in joining the IP department of the company, which will not only fulfil her passion of finding new, improved plants and making contact with breeders from a whole range of territories, but will also help to create new opportunities in developing markets across the world for healthy products, benefiting people’s health globally.

In her spare time, Iulia is an avid traveller, hiker and exercise junkie who makes smart investments in fine ice-cream, good coffee and doesn't understand the question "Beach or Mountains?" when you can have them both.

Nick Coumbe‘s Portrait
Nick Coumbe

Australian Representative

Mobile : +61 (0) 416 078011 nick@globalplantgenetics.com
Sadie Petchell‘s Portrait
Sadie Petchell

Company Administrator

Mobile : +44 (0) 7910 731 338 sadie@globalplantgenetics.com

Marion graduated from the University of London with a BSc in Agriculture in 1993 going straight to work for the UK’s largest food retailer. After 5 years in retail working as technical manager then buyer on berries, she moved to the supply side. Marion’s interest in varietal development was sparked in her early retail days and she has since worked on two private UK breeding programmes, been involved in national consortiums for raspberries and strawberries and travelled and worked globally with breeders, growers, propagators and labs.

The UK retail format means she has been involved in variety benchmarking and marketing new varieties to retailers, planning varietal and seasonal change overs with them and growers to ensure a smooth transition from old to new. With broad and varied experience in the fresh produce sector working at very senior levels and leading teams spread across a number of countries Marion has delivered change and progress for the businesses she has worked in and for customers repeatedly.

Working collaboratively and keeping everyone’s aims in focus means she achieves the desired results on projects in a timely manner with good outcomes for everyone involved while maintaining a professional approach and a sense of humour which is often needed.

3 things about Marion:

Good and fair working practices, ethical trade and human rights are key drivers for the way Marion works. She spent a number of years focussing on these areas in the wider food, farming and retail industries. She has a certificate in workplace mediation attained through The Centre for Effect Dispute Resolution in London and attended The Danish Institute of Human Rights Masterclass on conducting Human Rights Impact Assessments in Copenhagen and has spoken at international conferences on ethical trade including at The International Bar Association in Milan.

Volunteering as a member of The Independent Monitoring Board at her local large prison is a new role undertaken as a consequence of a work-related visit to a prison and being struck by how very tough prison life is. The monitoring role involves observing the day-to-day life in the prison to ensure prisoners and detainees are treated fairly and humanely and reflects her interest in human rights and rehabilitation of offenders for the benefit of wider civic society.

At home Marion enjoys cooking and entertaining family and friends and long walks with her dog, Rufus. The whole family are huge fans of Leicester Tigers rugby club and often attend matches. Holidays are usually spent on the stunning and historic Northumberland coast or the Suffolk coast and when a blast of sunshine and heat are required then the family have a long-held affection for the North-eastern coast of Majorca.

Nick started his career in horticulture in 1991, and had a passion for plants from an early age. Although Nick has spent much of his time in plant production, he has also worked in retail (online and offline) marketing and has run his own business. He completed his horticultural studies at the University of Greenwich in 1999 and has continued to develop his skills throughout his career.

5 things you need to know about Nick are the following: 

Nick has worked at a senior management level in several industry leading horticultural companies and has been a key player in delivering many high profile projects

He is an excellent communicator and enjoys working in teams with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to achieve common goals

Nick qualified as a certified trainer and assessor in 2019 and has been helping to train the next generation of horticulturalists 

Nick lives in Adelaide with his family having moved to Australia from the U.K. in 2011.

In his spare time Nick enjoys walking, swimming and travel. He plays guitar and recently started building his own instruments

Sadie has been working within the Global Plant Genetics’ team since its first year of inception and is now integral to its operation. Her wide-ranging skills have been of particular benefit in customer and supplier interactions. She also coordinates a number of administration areas for the business.

The 5 things you need to know about Sadie are the following

Sadie began her further education in the Hospitality and Tourism field and then decided to branch out into office management functions

Sadie has been working in office environments for the majority of her career for a wide range of organisations, including a multinational consumer goods business

Sadie is an excellent communicator and uses these skills to ensure that the office functions at Global Plant Genetics function seamlessly
   

In addition to facilitating the company’s personal development programs, Sadie pursues these endeavours herself and is always looking out for opportunities to improve

Outside of work, Sadie has two small and very active children. In her free-time, she enjoys spending time with the family on days out and encouraging her children’s development. In any limited additional spare time, Sadie is an excellent cook and likes to read. 

Izabela Komar-Socha‘s Portrait
Izabela Komar-Socha

Plant and Seed / IP Coordinator

Mobile : +44 (0) 7517 790 786 izabela@globalplantgenetics.com
Claire Donkin‘s Portrait
Claire Donkin

Technical (Asparagus, Grapes and Nuts)

Mobile : +44 (0) 7792 364661 claire.donkin@globalplantgenetics.com
Marieke Gortemaker‘s Portrait
Marieke Gortemaker

Marketing Specialist

Mobile : +44 (0) 7503689843 marieke@globalplantgenetics.com

Having worked within a range of agricultural industries since 2011, Izabela has gained significant experience that helps in her new role as Seed and Plant Coordinator for the company.

The 5 things you need to know about Izabela are the following:

She has worked with a wide range of crops, including berries and flowers. These experiences have helped her to gain an excellent working knowledge of plants. In addition, she is a successful protection adviser and natural problem solver.

Izabela is fascinated about Italy. She spent almost a year in Palermo to learn the language and to get to know the culture better. She also loves gardening and grows organic vegetables and fruits in her garden.

Izabela likes to improve herself in every way and is not afraid of new challenges or hard work. One example of this is that she is a qualified forklift driver.

She loves reading books and used to write her own poetry. Her favourite quote from a book is “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Izabela is based in Frampton but used to live in Manchester where she worked as a Customer Service Advisor at National Express and between that, she spent a few years working in The Netherlands.

Claire has specialised in asparagus agronomy and research. She has a MPhil in Soil Science from the University of Aberdeen and graduated with a BSc in Agricultural technology and management from Cranfield University. Both soil management and sustainability remain strong passions. Alongside this, Claire is qualified in agronomy with BASIS and FACTS qualifications, food hygiene and auditing.

The 5 things you need to know about Claire are:

Claire became a Western European Technical Manager for a multinational protected herb company at the age of 25. She was then made Technical Director of a speciality vegetable and stone fruit grower group at 30. Both companies have grown in technical complexity and customer delivery, directly serving several top tier British and European retailers. 

Claire has specialised in crop agronomy and research. She has delivered agronomic plans and development projects to businesses across the globe, supporting the growth and development of the businesses she works with.

Claire has a Master of Philosophy in Soil Science from the University of Aberdeen. Both soil management and sustainability remain strong passions. Alongside this, Claire is BASIS and FACTS qualified in Commercial Horticulture and an ongoing member of the professional register. She also has HACCP, Basic Food Hygiene and Food Law qualifications and regularly acts as an examiner to the BASIS Horticulture Agronomy course. 

Claire has forged strong links with a network of international researchers and funders. She is highly successful in translating the best findings into practical guidance for growers and producers. She has been working with the scientific community for 15 years and has a strong record of commissioning industry focussed, commercially meaningful projects and implementing the results for grower benefit. 

Claire is based in Leominster, UK. Outside work, she is the mum of one proudly fresh produce consuming, energetic son. She has rediscovered a love for cross country running and is looking forward to completing her first half marathon trail run. She also plays an active part in the family farm in Bedfordshire and is an enthusiastic reader, traveller and music fan.

Marieke has a diverse background across a range of areas, including social work, starting with her Bachelor's degree in Child Development. While learning how to code along the way in her spare time and always having had a passion for photography, Marieke has gained a broad skill set in communication, computing, marketing, and design which come to great use in her Marketing Specialist role at the company. 

The 5 things you need to know about Marieke are the following:

Marieke became interested in marketing and everything design-related after starting her own photography brand. From this point on she has ever since been improving her skills and knowledge on the subject. 

If something is new to Marieke she is always up for the challenge to try it out and to learn from the experience.

Marieke is based in Edinburgh, she decided to move to Scotland from the Netherlands after a spontaneous surprise destination holiday. 

Because of this Marieke is a big motivator of traveling by yourself to at least one destination. After having traveled over 20 countries by herself, Marieke can tell you all the ins and outs of what to look out for if you’re a solo traveler. 

 

When people ask what Marieke enjoys doing in her spare time her typical answer is ‘’ I love too many things and there is too little time in a day!’’. The ever-growing list consists of dancing, fire spinning, drumming, gaming, and reading. 

Rebecca Banton‘s Portrait
Rebecca Banton

Admin, PA & HR Co ordinator

Mobile : +44 (0) 1485 210091 becky@globalplantgenetics.com

Becky’s career has been spent working in customer facing and OEM manufacturing environments, administrating, coordinating, auditing and team leading across various industries, including the NHS.

 

She is a natural coordinator and effective communicator that is happy to go the extra mile, always looking for ways to improve process and quality.

 

Becky is based near Spalding, Lincolnshire.

 

Outside of work Becky has a young Son and enjoys spending quality time with her family, and various pets. She also likes to cook and enjoys baking, when she isn’t too busy making improvements to her house, garden and VW campervan.

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