The Fresh Produce sector is an often overlooked sector by undergraduates with a perception of having to wear wellingtons and working long hours in fields of cabbage! How wrong you are! It is diverse, it is incredibly fast and it can be very rewarding.
As such the fresh produce sector encompasses many different products sourced from around the world according to the time of year. The 21st-century requirement for perpetually full supermarket shelves means that produce is continually being shipped either by road, by sea or by air to meet these demands.
The jobs that are therefore available range from agronomy and growing roles, technical and quality roles, production and operational roles, and commercial and marketing roles – there is a vast number of functions to get involved with and build a career in.
The sector encompasses many different types of business from the smaller grower owned operations to worldwide PLC’s employing thousands of people, this combined with the diverse number of roles available, makes it a very exciting sector to start a career.
I have always advised people when starting their career to remain as mainstream as possible. My simple analogy has been likening a career path to paddling your way up the Amazon… you start off mainstream and then start to specialise, eventually developing an expertise in a backwater – where you will know more than anyone else in the UK or in some instances anyone else on the planet!
The trick, therefore, is to develop a range of skills and expertise that will keep you mainstream and enable you to appeal to a wide number of potential employers as you develop your career. Starting a career in Fresh Produce will teach you life skills of team working, working to very short deadlines and working under pressure. It will teach you how to work in a seasonal business, where you will be operating in different ways and to different timelines throughout the year – it will not be boring!
But finally starting a career in Fresh Produce will provide you with a platform in which to develop a career in the food industry – a sector that will never go away and which is fairly resilient to economic turmoil. Food manufacturing is also the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, approximately twice the size of the automotive and aerospace industries combined with over 100,000 people employed. There will be plenty of opportunities to develop your career.
We at Henderson Brown are a well-established recruitment company working with a wide array of companies throughout the fresh produce and food manufacturing sectors. We know our sector and we know what our clients are looking for so if you would like to have an informal conversation about a career in our sector then please contact us.