Soil Association nets RSC comms chief Mortlock

The UK's frontline organic food body has lured Royal Shakespeare Company's comms director to be its own external relations director.

Roger Mortlock will move to the Soil Association next month, taking up a newly created role that covers comms, membership and fundraising.

His appointment will allow comms director Robin Maynard to focus on strategic comms and media relations work.

Mortlock said: ‘The past six years have been a great time to be at the RSC, but I am looking forward to a new set of challenges.’

One of those challenges will be to help the organisation fight the corner of org­anic farmers who claim commercial pressures are forcing a lowering of standards in some produce.

Maynard – who was promoted from head of comms in the summer – said the Soil Association’s Red Tractor logo was widely recognised, but his next challenge was to demonstrate that the organisation does more than ‘niche organic marketing’.

Last week the Soil Association led protests over a calf born to a cloned cow, saying the experiment would ‘destroy confidence in British farming and food’.

There is a ‘dotted line’ bet­ween Mortlock and Maynard’s positions, and both will report to Soil Ass­­oc­iation director Patrick Holden.

Mortlock’s replacement at the RSC will be asked to take charge of a ten-strong team with responsibility for corporate and internal comms, and show pro­m­otion.

Lyric Communications’ Gill Kirk is to step in on an interim basis as acting director of comms from the end of the month.

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