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About GPG

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
Jamie Petchell‘s Portrait
Jamie Petchell

Company Lead in Raspberry, Blackberry, Asparagus and Nuts

Office Tel: +44 (0) 1485 210091Mobile : +44 (0) 7736 783893
Soufiane Lahtati Belkas‘s Portrait
Soufiane Lahtati Belkas

Business Development Manager Berries EMEA

Office Tel: +44 (0) 1485 210091Mobile : +34 670 94 47 20

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!

Soufiane made a career change some years ago to enter the world of agriculture, motivated by his great interest in gardens, plants, food, and growing. He has a wealth of experience in berry production, propagation, and IP management throughout the EU, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The 4 things you need to know about Soufiane are the following:

With a passion for travel, Soufiane has moved around many countries in Europe. After having explored many countries he has decided to reside in Spain, Huelva.

Soufiane is fluent in 5 languages: Spanish, English, French, Arabic, and German.

Before joining the agriculture sector, Soufiane was a part of the sports and physical therapy industry.

Outside of work, Soufiane enjoys spending time with his family while also maintaining his love for sports and photography.

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.

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. 

Anna has a background in recruitment, company administration and leading various project roll-outs. With management experience in Retail and FMCG, including in export and shipping, she has developed a determined can-do attitude and an eye for detail, both useful attributes for running her own various businesses.

The 5 things that you need to know about Anna are:

She started her career as a Beauty Therapist opening a salon at the then new Canary Wharf development in London Docklands.

Anna has previously run her own Transport Café for 13 years

She is the proud and doting owner of an elderly, though still naughty, Jack Russell called Bob.

A passionate gardener about to embark on a Garden Design Course.

She is known as The ‘Imelda Marcos’ of Cambridgeshire! With her passion for shoes, she is in possession of over 50 pairs but she has to admit that those are just her summer collection.

Shaun Collin‘s Portrait
Shaun Collin

Royalties Administrator

Office Tel: +44 (0) 1485 210091
Eloise McDowell‘s Portrait
Eloise McDowell

Marketing & Communications Manager

Mobile : +44 (0) 774 970 5931
Claire Donkin‘s Portrait
Claire Donkin

Technical (Asparagus, Grapes and Nuts)

Mobile : +44 (0) 7792 364661

After working for 40 years in advertising sales, Shaun is well known for his success in this sector.

Most of his time was spent in the motorcycle industry.

Shaun has joined the GPG team to take on the responsibilities for administration and communication around Royalties.

The things you need to know about Shaun are:

  • He’s a keen motorcyclist enjoying road trips in both the UK and Europe, with wife Sue as a willing pillion!

  • Spare time is shared between gardening, walking (particularly in and around the Peak District National Park), and socialising with friends.

Shaun’s also a big rugby fan and enjoys watching games either live or at the pub, but always with a beer or two.

Eloise started her design and marketing career within the fashion industry. Graduating from London Ravensbourne University, in fashion design, with an interest in graphic design, social media, and marketing.

Having broad experience, Eloise has worked across many industries, such as fashion, finance, e-commerce, and charity (mental health, a particular passion of hers).

The 4 things you need to know about Eloise are the following:

Eloise has a keen interest in dog training, behaviours, and nutrition. Working with her own dog – Aurora the Doberman.

Eloise can often be found hiking with her dog and getting a good coffee along the way.

Eloise is a self-proclaimed foodie, she enjoys experiencing food from across the world, from fine dining to street food.

Art and design are a passion for Eloise and this is a large contributor to her everyday life, from magazines to exhibitions and creating.

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.

Izabela Komar-Socha‘s Portrait
Izabela Komar-Socha

Plant & Seed Coordinator

Mobile : +44 (0) 7517 790 786

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.

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