Dovecote Park boss takes BDCI chair

The new festival chairman for the industry charity the Butchers’ & Drovers’ Charitable Institution (BDCI) has been announced as Dovecote Park chief executive Richard Canvin.

Canvin took over the role from outgoing festival chairman James Sydenham, joint managing director of Interfood Technology, at a special lunch at Butchers’ Hall this week. Sydenham said: “I am truly honoured to have been offered the opportunity to take on this incredibly prestigious role and follow in the footsteps of the great and the good of our industry. It has certainly been a challenging year and not the best climate to go knocking on doors asking for donations. However, despite the challenges, we had some success and much fun during the year.

“On behalf of the BDCI and myself, I would like to say a big thank you to the generous donors and purchasers of the auction items and to the companies that always support us in taking part in our events and for taking tables at the dinner. The charity continues to provide much-needed help to those in need and I am delighted to announce that over £250,000 has been put towards good causes in the past year.”

Commenting on his appointment, Canvin said: “It is both an honour and a privilege to be appointed as this year’s BDCI festival chairman. I have attended many festival dinners over the years and I am well aware of the good work of the charity. But with 90,000 people working in the meat industry, employed by 500 companies, it remains a real challenge to ensure that those who are eligible for help are aware that the BDCI exists.

“Fundraising is also incredibly important and we have a number of fantastic events lined up for this year. The exact dates are still to be finalised, but we plan to continue with the time-honoured Golf Day, held annually at the Surrey Downs Golf Club in Kingswood, Surrey. My thanks go to the Cheale family for allowing us to use the course once again this year.

“We’re also planning a ‘Clay Day’ hosted by Sir Edward Dashwood at the award-winning E J Churchill Shooting Ground. Set among 40 acres of woodland on the stunning West Wycombe Estate, we’ll be inviting people of all abilities, from novices through to experienced game and clay shooters, to take part in this fantastic fundraising event.

“If that wasn’t enough, we’re also planning a ‘Jonathan Palmer Day’ a fantastic day of driving high-performance cars to their limit at the Palmer Sport Bedford Autodrome. Developed by ex-Formula One racing driver Jonathan Palmer, Palmer Sport driving events are recognised as the best in the world, so this is sure to appeal to the petrol-heads amongst you.

“And last but by no means least, we have the Annual Festival Dinner, taking place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday, 25 October. I think most people would agree that the BDCI’s Festival Dinner is the main event in the meat industry calendar and we’re planning to make this year’s another fantastic night to remember, so do make sure you have the date in your diary.

“Further details and dates for all the fundraising events will be announced shortly in the trade press and also on the BDCI’s website – www.bdci.org.uk. I hope all the events will be widely supported by as many people as possible, so that we can continue to ensure the survival of our own industry charity. I am thoroughly looking forward to what I’m sure will be a tremendously successful year for the BDCI.”