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Meet the team: Mike Hartshorn

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Mike Hartshorn as Carbon Gold’s Managing Director. Mike joins us at a pivotal moment in our business development, so it’s great to have his wealth of experience and mix of skills in the team. We thought it only polite to have a chat with our newest team-mate, to get to know him a little better.

Mike Hartshorn (Managing Director, Carbon Gold)

Great to have you onboard Mike! You bring valuable retail and brand building experience from a background in different sectors so, tell us a bit about your journey to Carbon Gold.

Thanks! I’m delighted to join the team and energised to be part of Carbon Gold’s future. You’re right, my background is somewhat removed from the horticulture industry, as I’ve previously worked in toys, gifts and finance.

A browse through my LinkedIn profile will show that I have spent the past 20 years or so working in various senior positions with several well-known brands including the likes of Hallmark, Tomy and Trunki within the toy and gift industry.

Prior to that my career actually started in the financial services industry, first with Midland Bank (now HSBC), then making a jump to the C&G Building Society where I became their youngest ever branch manager (certainly at that time), opening their new branch in Watford.

Fast forward 10 successful years in a number of different roles, I made the switch to the FMCG industry, joining Andrew Brownsword Gifts as Customer Operations Manager. At that time ABG were very well known for their Forever Friends characters and had recently been acquired by Hallmark. This brings you up to date on where my LinkedIn profile starts.

The switch from financial services to FMCG and especially toys was a breath of fresh air to me, it was wonderful to be working with tangible products that you could physically get your hands on. Now, as well as getting my hands on the product I am getting them dirty with the product!

The beauty of this background is that it has given me a sound understanding of the importance of good customer service and strong financial/budgetary control, along with broad knowledge and experience of logistics, operations and sales development – all of which stand us in good stead for the road ahead as we build the Carbon Gold brand.

So, what tempted you to get your hands dirty with us?

When I was first approached about this position it came a little out of the blue; After an initial conversation I began to research Carbon Gold and to gain a better understanding of what biochar was all about and almost immediately thought “why isn’t everyone using this stuff?!”.

Good question Mike, good question!

I had seen a Netflix documentary featuring Woody Harrelson, called Kiss the Ground, which was about the negative impact of commercial agriculture and farming on the planet’s soil since the early part of the 20th century (well worth a watch by the way) and how there is a simple solution that would both revitalise our soil and at the same time help reduce the impact of CO2 in the atmosphere.

This documentary really helped me understand the full benefits of Carbon Gold biochar and effectively had me hooked. I knew I wanted to be part of this company and to do whatever I could to help it develop in the way that I felt it unquestionably should. More people needed to be aware of our biochar products and to have easier access to them!

Loving your enthusiasm, although obviously, we’re not surprised! You likened Carbon Gold to be the Rolls Royce of its category – we’ll happily take that.

I’m hugely enthusiastic about Carbon Gold! Ours is a premium branded product in terms of both quality and price, it not only includes biochar but is organic and has both FSC certification and Soil Association approval; it really is the Rolls Royce of its category. This means that one of our biggest challenges is to make people understand that although they are paying a premium price, they are in fact getting excellent value for money due to the quality of the product, its longevity and of course the beneficial impact it has on their plant and the environment. The fact that it sequesters carbon, locking it away permanently, means that every gardener, landscaper, grower, farmer, groundsman and so on can help reduce their carbon footprint, helping improve our atmosphere and whilst get better growing results whilst doing so – what’s not to like?

I am completely sold on the story and our purpose and am both delighted and excited to be part of Carbon Gold’s future.

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Sue Rawlings

Head of Finance & Operations

Sue Rawlings, Head of Finance & Operations Carbon Gold

Category: News

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