Rare Breeds Survival Trust CEO Tom Beeston has announced his decision to step down from RBST after more than four years leading the UK’s only charity dedicated to rare and native breeds of UK farm livestock.
Mr Beeston was appointed as CEO of RBST during a challenging time in the history of the charity, which was founded in 1973. Before joining RBST, he had previously held senior positions in volunteer organisations and commercial enterprises within the food and farming industries.
During his time as CEO, he has stabilised the Trust, working closely with trustees, staff and all RBST Support Groups across the UK to provide leadership and direction.
He said: “My four years leading RBST have been possibly the most enjoyable time in my working life. I am passionate about our rare and native breeds and I remain so. I’m happy to have been part of a great organisation, but I feel my job is done, and it is time for someone else to take things forward. When I came here I said I wanted to get the organisation to a positive place where the really great work could then begin, and I know the Charity is now in a good place ready for the next phase.
“However, after a huge amount of work over the last four years to refresh how we work, ably assisted by our excellent staff I am looking forward to no longer having to live away from home and most definitely I am looking forward to spending more time nearer home.
“It has been my great privilege to work with an exceptionally dedicated and skilled team of trustees, staff and volunteers. I am exceedingly grateful for all the long hours and hard work to accomplish great things in protecting our rare and native breeds. These are not accomplishments a CEO makes alone. These are achievements that require a committed team of gifted, tenacious individuals who come together to work relentlessly for a common goal.
“It has been my pleasure to lead the team at RBST. I could not have asked for a more supportive Board, staff and volunteers, and I treasure the friendships I have made during my time at RBST.
“I was instrumental in setting up the Chilterns Support Group and I shall relish the opportunity to offer my local group help and assistance as I join the ranks of RBST members.”
Commenting on CEO Tom Beeston’s decision to step down, RBST Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Gail Sprake, said: “Together our Board of Trustees has accepted Tom Beeston’s decision to step down, and we fully understand and respect his wish to move back home to the South East and spend more time with his family. Tom’s input has been significant and he leaves RSBT in a position uniquely poised to play a significant role as we face the challenges of a post Brexit agricultural policy in the UK, a future in which our rare and native breeds can, and must, play a significant role.
“In accordance with Tom’s wishes, he will step down immediately and the Trustees will now consider future leadership plans in the light of our ongoing strategic review.”