Knowledge for a sustainable world

Ben Bennett, Gillian Summers, Heather McAvoy-Marshall

Ben Bennett, Professor of International Trade and Marketing Economics of the University of Greenwich, will be giving his Inaugural Professorial Lecture 'Millet, Myrrh and Manchester United: Markets for Development, Lessons from Practice' on Wednesday, 10th June 2015. All are welcome.

Ben will explore agricultural marketing in the developing world through the lens of his experience in the field over the past 30 years.

Drawing on his depth of experience and his passion for football, Ben will explain how markets that work for the poor share common aims and values with successful sports teams. Calling on a rich supply of examples, from different countries and in relation to different commodities, he will review the field of understanding agricultural markets in developing countries. Themes covered will include postharvest losses, food quality and standards, trade, trade negotiation and market access, economic appraisal of technologies, natural products and value chain analysis. Examples of work referenced will range from developing novel advertising jingles, through encouraging young African consumers to eat traditional porridge, to negotiating with French perfume houses on the purchase of exotic fragrance ingredients from women in the Namib Desert.

Millet basket R Hodges 750Ben joined NRI in 1989 from the Department for International Development where he worked in Evaluation. He is an Economist with degrees from the Universities of Liverpool, Birmingham and London. During an NRI career of over 25 years, he has worked in more than 35 countries, spending 14 years as a long-term advisor in Namibia, the Philippines and Nigeria. His research interests include novel value chains, postharvest losses and trade economics.

As Head of the Food and Markets Department, Ben manages a team of 30 social and natural science professionals and support staff. He has led several large projects including the recently completed Indigenous Natural Products Programme in Namibia for the US Government. During his time as Agriculture and Policy Advisor to the Government of Namibia, he helped lead the development of domestic agricultural strategies. He also trained a cadre of trade negotiators in Southern Africa, many of whom are now senior diplomats.

  • Watch the video of the lecture here.
  • Download the lecture booklet here.

Event information

Date: Wednesday 10th June

Time: Lecture begins at 6.00pm for approx. 1 hour; tea and coffee will be served from 5.30pm

Venue: PK008, Pilkington Lecture Theatre, Medway Campus.

The lecture will be followed by refreshments, during which time Professor Bennett will be available to discuss his work.

To book a place please contact: Heather McAvoy-Marshall, extension 3911 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Closing date for booking: Tuesday, 2nd June 2015.

Attention: Ben will be burning some Myrrh at one point during the lecture which may cause problems for those with breathing difficulties.

For further information, please download the supporting brochure of the lecture HERE.