CEO - BATA, Yorkshire


BATA is a thriving agricultural trading co-operative primarily based in North and East Yorkshire and owned by its 3500 member/shareholders and which has grown organically over the last 130 years. It has an enviable reputation as a valued and trusted manufacturer, distributor, retailer and provider of services to agricultural businesses and the wider rural community.

The key business areas are the production, distribution and sale of animal feeds, crop storage, the sales and distribution of domestic and commercial oils and gases and a network of 10 retail Country Stores. Along with a subsidiary operating in South-west Lancashire the combined turnover for 2022/23 was in excess of £130m BATA trades under three brands including BATA, Thompsons of York and South West Lancashire Farmers operating across three main sectors:

§ Agricultural feed: They have two mills based in Amotherby and York producing a variety of compound feed, and a crop storage facility with a 40,000 ton capacity based in Pocklington

§ Fuel: Sales of oil and gases are supplied to agricultural, domestic and industrial customers

§ Retail: comprising of country stores across North and East Yorkshire, petrol stations, convenience shops and a garden centre 

Steered by, and under the Governance of a Board of experienced non-executive directors, BATA has a clear strategy for the future growth and development of the business keeping the strong co-operative ethos at its core. The vision is to be the leading member owned trading co-operative in the North of England, to provide members with advantageous trading opportunities, a wide range of relevant and premium business services and deliver consistent and substantive return on their share capital.

BATA strives to be an employer of choice and achieve an ethical and sustainable business model across all its trading activities. They have a loyal and experienced work force of over 320 staff, 19 or whom will this year receive long service awards for over 30 years’ service. The cooperative operates from a position of continued financial stability with a very strong balance sheet and minimal borrowings.

Whilst recognising external challenges facing all similar businesses, the three main divisions – feed, fuels and country stores – all have potential for growth and diversification as suitable opportunities are presented. 

The Requirement

Job Title:             Chief Executive Officer

Location:             Brandsby Agricultural Trading Association, Main Street, Malton, Amotherby, YO17 6TA

Reporting to:       BATA Board

The Board of BATA delegate the executive management of the business to the senior leadership team led by the CEO. In full control of the day to day running of the entire business and accountable to the Board, the CEO provides executive leadership, develops and manages the business objectives to drive financial performance. An enthusiasm for and thorough understanding of our co-operative ownership model is key to the CEO’s role as this the prism through which all business decisions are focused.

Key accountabilities

§ Immersion in the business and win the confidence of the Board, staff and of the members

§ Deliver the annually agreed budget, review and evolve the business plan in line with market opportunity

§ Achieve sustainable financial growth and strong returns to members/ shareholders

§ Be a highly visible leader of the team which achieves the annual business objectives

§ Modernise and develop the products and services, and uplift the culture to be member engaged and progressive

§ Unify the businesses into a cohesive and recognisable entity under the umbrella of the BATA Group

§ Increase the membership, develop quality products and services to support members farming businesses and the wider rural community

§ Look to access government funding and grants available to cooperatives, to enhance the continued investment in the business


The Candidate 

We are looking for a dynamic individual with the enthusiasm and drive to lead BATA in the next chapter of its development. The chosen candidate is most likely to have experience in at least one of the main business areas but more importantly will have recognised leadership experience and measurable success in a comparative role.

Our requirements

§ A credible and authentic character with charisma and enthusiasm, and a positive orientation to farmer members

§ Some relevant experience in agriculture, or a related industry and a genuine interest in farming and the cooperative ethos

§ A track record of leading the sustained commercial growth of a customer facing business

§ Energetic, passionate and resilient, a proven leader of diverse, multi-site teams and businesses

§ Visionary and entrepreneurial, an operator who is down to earth, practical and astute

§ Has the ability to identify new products and services compatible with our core offering

§ Sound commercial acumen, can set budgets and deliver the annual plan. Has led a complex and diversified business

§ A talented leader with exceptional communication skills – adept at leading and inspiring large teams, and managing influential stakeholders internally and externally

§ Can recognise that sustained commercial success and the cooperative ethos are perfectly compatible 

The competencies which are essential to a successful appointee include:

§ Excellent inter-personal skills

§ An ability to communicate concisely at all levels

§ An understanding and enthusiasm for the co-operative model of ownership and trading

§ Visionary – an innovator with a passion for new ideas

§ The ability to inspire and lead from the front

§ A commitment to sustainability and ethics in business

§ Financial integrity 

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