Our people


Abel Dègnimon SOGBEGNON

Energy & Appropriate Technologies Engineer, Fullwell Transform

Abel has experience in the food processing sector in a number of West African countries and in the development of waste-to-energy systems and processing technologies. Whilst working with Fullwell Transform, Abel has worked on improving existing mango drying technologies, and on designing and implementing biomass-powered cabinet and tunnel dryers for a medium sized cashew factory (1,000 MT/year) and for SME mango drying factories respectively. Much of this work is carried out in close partnership with local workshops and entrepreneurs and trainees, enabling a high-level of knowledge sharing and capacity transfer.

Abel has a Master’s degree in energy & electrical engineering (2IE, Ouagadougou) and has specific experience in drying technologies, gasification, solar photovoltaic and industrial electrical installations in cashew, mango, rice and vegetable oil (cotton, shea nut, soya) sectors.


Adam Brett

Co-founder & Director, Fullwell Mill

Adam has worked since the early 1990s with SME food and agriculture businesses in Uganda, Pakistan, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Kenya, Guyana, Afghanistan, India and elsewhere. He founded the Fairtrade & Organic food brand Tropical Wholefoods which has sold products from small farmers into the UK food sector for 25 years.

Pioneering the development of businesses which process and export dried fruit and nuts on a Fairtrade and Organic basis from these countries, Adam has helped to supply food products to UK businesses including Unilever, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

He has always focused on developing sustainable businesses, incorporating fair trade principles alongside renewable energy and sustainable agricultural practices in all his work. Adam has also been a founder director of two overseas companies: Fruits of the Nile in Uganda and Mountain Fruits in Pakistan that still supply Fullwell Mill. He has also worked with a small independent UK supermarket chain as a non-executive, in trustee roles for the charity Ashden in renewable energy, the Kilimo Trust in the area of African agricultural development, and with Riversimple a sustainable transport company. Recently Adam’s work has focused on the development of software systems for supply-chain management in Fairtrade and Organic food and agricultural businesses.


Ian Morris

Manager, Fullwell Transform

Ian oversees the development and management of the portfolio of projects and consultancies of Fullwell Transform, as well as overall operations.  He works closely with our team in Africa and our team at Fullwell Mill’s factory in the UK, as well as with our local partners, funding partners and consultancy clients.  Ian’s professional background spans the social business, private and charity sectors, as well as international development and engineering programme management.  His career in international development has been spent in agri-supply chain development, financial services, organisational development and urban development.


Karen Hetherington

Systems Manager, Fullwell Mill

Karen undertakes Systems Development at Fullwell Mill.  This covers the areas of Food Safety, Organic, Fairtrade, focusing on adherence to BRC (British Retail Consortium), Organic and FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organisation) requirements.  In the past she has undertaken research work funded by DFID, Comic Relief, Sida, Fairtrade Foundation and others looking at the development of quality management systems and product quality.  Karen has a Research Doctorate in corporate social reporting, and is a member of the Fairtrade Foundation’s Certification and Oversight Committee.


Neil Bianchi

Energy & Appropriate Technologies Co-ordinator, Fullwell Transform

Neil has worked in the SME food processing sector in West, East & Southern Africa, focusing on the development of waste-to-energy systems and improved processing technologies for SME industries. Neil now leads the Energy & Appropriate Technology team which is currently based in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and is presently overseeing the turnkey design, installation and commissioning of processing equipment for cashew processing SMEs for women’s groups in urban and rural settings. He is also leading the team’s development of biomass-powered tunnel dryers for the mango drying industry and working on upgrading the solar dryer technology used for banana and pineapple in Uganda.

Neil is originally from the UK and has a MEng in mechanical & civil engineering. He has experience in the design and operation of small-scale anaerobic digesters, gasification, various drying technologies including solar dryers, as well as installations for semi-industrial processors including on-site waste-water treatment and various feasibility studies. Neil has worked with cashew, mango, pineapple, banana, coffee, palm oil and mushroom producers and SME processors.


Richard Friend

Co-founder & Director, Fullwell Mill

Richard started his first food business in 1987, commercialising an undergraduate soya fermentation project.  His business experience is supplemented with post graduate qualifications in business administration and food technology.  In addition to general management and directorial experience in the UK and abroad Richard has particular skills in food product and process development, improvement and commercialisation.  He also has a thorough understanding of quality management and food safety systems (BRC, GFSI, HACCP etc.) as well as ethical certification schemes (Organic and Fairtrade etc.) from farm to factory.  Richard’s most extensive consultancy work has been in Central Asia particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan where he has done valuable work on food value chain addition for USAID, DFID, GIZ, Mercy Corps, Roots of Peace and the Agha Khan Network, including pioneering Fairtrade certification in both countries.