Date of release: Monday, June 1, 2015

Prof Ben BennettThe success of a global brand such as Manchester United can show the way for small-scale agricultural businesses in developing countries, according to Professor Ben Bennett.

In his Inaugural Professorial Lecture at the University of Greenwich, called Millet, Myrrh and Manchester United: Markets for Development Lessons from Practice, Professor Bennett will explain how markets that work for the poor share common aims with successful sports teams.

The lecture on Wednesday, 10 June is being held in the Pilkington Building, at the university's Medway Campus, from 5.30pm. Admission is free.

Drawing on his experiences undertaking consultancy and research in more than 30 countries, Professor Bennett will demonstrate how, until recently, the main focus of development work concentrated on improving agriculture productivity.

Now, however, more attention is being paid to how harvests are being taken to market and the challenges producers have to meet alongside the importance of trade capacity and negotiations to grow and gain access to markets.

Professor Bennett will use wide-ranging examples to illustrate his case, from showing how novel advertising jingles encouraged young Africans to eat traditional porridge, to negotiations with French perfume houses to buy exotic fragrance ingredients from women in the Namib Desert.

Based at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) for more than 24 years, Professor Bennett is a member of the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science He holds the chair in International Trade and Marketing Economics and is Head of the Food & Markets Department.

Places for the free lecture are limited and early booking is advised. To book, contact Heather McAvoy-Marshall on 01634 883911 or

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Story by Public Relations