Racer turned farmer Jody roars in for conference

Jody Scheckter on his Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire

Jody Scheckter on his Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire

Former Formula 1 World Champion Jody Scheckter will be racing in from his hugely successful Laverstoke Park Farm to be guest speaker at a Hampshire Chamber of Commerce conference.

The motor racing star turned organic farmer will be digging into his lengthy experience to address the Roots to Growth business audience in Fareham in October.

Jody, 66, who won the F1 World Championship in 1979 and retired from the sport the following year at the age of 30, now owns multi-award winning Laverstoke Park Farm near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

He has run the sprawling 2,500-acre organic/biodynamic farm at Overton since 1996 and now has the largest buffalo herd in the UK.

Jody – the last F1 champion for Ferrari in Enzo Ferrari’s lifetime – previously founded Firearms Training Systems in Atlanta, USA, in 1984, which became the dominant world-leader in small arms simulation for police and military.

The South Africa-born father-of-six then moved to Hampshire to start Laverstoke Park Farm with the aim of producing ‘the best tasting, healthiest food for himself and his family’.

His modest vision soon grew and today Laverstoke, the setting for ITV1’s celebrity show Sugar Free Farm this year, follows nature as closely as possible, combining 21st century science, together with the most environmentally friendly farming methods available.

The astute businessman said: “I want to tell delegates that it is possible to start a business from scratch and make it successful without compromising your ideals.

“I hope to be able to inspire people to believe they too can achieve their aims with hard work, belief, enthusiasm and no little sweat.”

Laverstoke, certified biodynamic by Demeter and organic by the Soil Association, includes water buffalo, cattle, pigs, wild boar, sheep, chickens, a hop field and a vineyard – with a butchers and farm shop on site.

The conference at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, which begins with a working breakfast at 7.30am, features a number of guest speakers from 8.30 am before concluding with a buffet lunch and networking until 2pm.

Gary Jeffries, Chairman of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and a Partner with property consultancy Hughes Ellard, will focus on business growth employment space. David Stevenson, Head of Alt Finance UK, will address delegates on alternative ways of funding business growth.

Make a date for the Chamber’s fifth annual Hampshire Chamber Roots to Growth Business Conference on October 20 which is backed by financial experts Smith & Williamson and Action Coach Business Coaching.

During the morning delegates will have the opportunity to put their questions forward to a panel of professionals and visit exhibitors who have taken stands. A limited number of stands are still available. Email events.south@hampshirechamber.co.uk for details.

The conference costs £30 +VAT to Hampshire Chamber of Commerce members and £40 +VAT for non-members. To book a place visit http://tinyurl.com/hkjfm6w  or call 01329 242420.

Notes to editors

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is the independent voice of local business across the county and one of the largest regional business networks in the UK.  It brings together the combined influence, strength and expertise of Hampshire’s three former major chambers of commerce.

It works with over 2,000 individual firms spanning all sectors and sizes of business. For more information, visit www.hampshirechamber.co.uk or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hantschamber.

HCC is affiliated to The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), a powerful network of 52 accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. For more information visit www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media enquiries to Cliff Moore, Deep South Media, on 01202 534487 or cliff.moore@deepsouthmedia.co.uk.