Crop firm Syngenta hands LLM's Titterington top job

Syngenta, the crop protection and seeds company, has appointed LLM Communications partner Mark Titterington as its top UK lobbyist.

Titterington joins in March and will report to head of comms Andrew Coker, the former Coca-Cola GB comms director who joined Syngenta in 2004.

He will be based at the company's research centre at Jealott's Hill, near Windsor. Coker said his brief will be to 're-engage with stakeholders', particularly NGOs, as well as policy makers and the agriculture industry.

He added that Titterington's job was a 'newly invigorated role'. The last person responsible for PA in the UK was external relations manager Ian Weatherhead, who quit to join pharma company UCB last autumn (PRWeek, 13 October 2005). Titterington joined LLM eight years ago, becoming a partner in 2003. Prior to that he was an adviser at the UN.

Syngenta was created in 2000 from the merger of the agro-chemical and seeds businesses of AstraZeneca and Switzerland's Novartis. It operates in 90 countries, although the UK is home to its biggest research centre.  Its main rivals are BASF and Bayer CropScience.
Syngenta has mapped the rice genome, which could make rice crops more resistant to disease and lead to the mapping of other cereals.

Its most recent innovations have come from breeding rather than genetic modification. These include a watermelon with no pips, and a 'cumato' – a cucumber and tomato hybrid.

Lexington Communications is its PA consultancy.

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