Why Fresh Produce needs “Fresh Talent”

Published on: 9 May 2013

Why Fresh Produce needs “Fresh Talent”

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Despite a financial crisis that has hit us over the last few years there is one thing that no one can change – “everyone needs to eat” and therefore Fresh Produce will always be a commodity that is sought after and a fantastic industry to work in.

There are so many opportunities within Fresh Produce and Agriculture and it is an incredibly exciting and fast paced sector to be in. It is a product we can all relate to yet so many of us know so little about how our food actually got to be on our plates. We take for granted the process and people it took to get it from field to fork. Wouldn’t it be great to be part of that process?

It is not typically seen as a “sexy industry” and actually in most cases if you do not have a family member or friend who has worked in it, it is not a sector many people consider or even contemplate going into. So is it any surprise that the sector is struggling to find “fresh talent” to join it?

I have had so many clients ask my advice about their business in regards to staff growth and how they can find ambitious people to join their business and I keep giving the same answer -“succession planning.”

It is more cost effective in the long run to bring in a graduate with no practical experience who can be taught the ways of the business and the fresh produce sector . They have the potential to be future stars of your business and can be given a great grounding, develop a strong knowledge of the industry and be genuinely passionate to learn with your help and investment in time.

Businesses want hungry, motivated staff but ironically are reluctant to take a risk on someone with less experience.  With such a high proportion of graduate’s unemployed yet eager to work, it is a shame that more businesses do not always see the value in taking on someone fresh from university. Are we afraid of looking outside the box and seeing potential??

We recently saw in the fresh produce journal how there are 993,000 young people without a job I wonder how many of those could be an attribute to our sector?

Some businesses are already involved in Management Development Schemes or are investing in apprenticeships and gradually seem to have noticed that a change needs to be made if the Fresh Produce sector wants to attract and secure the best talent, and reap the financial rewards.  We urge more businesses to think about the following statement - ” If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

Sydoni Mackie 
Managing Director 
Fresh Talent Recruitment Ltd


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