"I get to be involved in every step - from stock selection in the field to how the products are presented in store."
"I joined Branston in April 2016 as a Technical Assistant on the Waitrose, Co-op and Booker fresh potato accounts. I didn’t come from a food or farming background, and to be honest I hadn’t really planned a career in potatoes, but I’d heard good things about Branston and I was keen to learn.
I’d been travelling after university, but after Southeast Asia it was time to come home and get a job. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but after five months in a call centre I knew it wasn’t that! I heard about the Technical Assistant vacancy through a friend and I had a look online. It sounded interesting with a lot of variety so I read up all I could about potatoes, applied and was lucky enough to get the job.
It was a very steep learning curve but my manager has been really supportive of my development. I’ve been able to spend time with other departments to understand exactly what they do and it’s given me a really good all round knowledge of the business. It’s been great to get involved with customers too - from visits to technical conferences.
I’ve done lots of training, including Food Safety, Pest Control, Level 3 HACCP and microbiology. Branston is also supporting me in studying for a Food Challenge for the 21st Century post graduate diploma, from Lancaster University. It’s a modular course - mainly online distance learning, with some residential workshops. I’ve found this really interesting, especially meeting all the other students from different parts of the industry.
I’ve really enjoyed getting up to speed, and in 2017 I was given another good opportunity to learn more about the business when I was seconded to our Prepared foods division for four weeks. This exposed me to a whole different environment and the demands that go along with a high-care facility in terms of food safety and technical expertise. So when a Customer Technical Manager role came up I already had some relevant experience and understood what they were looking for. I went for it and I got the promotion in January 2018.
What I enjoy most about working in Technical is that every day is different. Yes, it has its challenges but that’s what makes it interesting. I get to be involved in every step – from stock selection in the field right through to how the products are presented in store. On Day One I didn’t know anything about potatoes, so really the business took a bit of a punt on me. I’m really grateful for that and I like to think that it’s paying off."
"I joined Branston in October 2018 as an Account Executive for my third MDS secondment."
"I joined straight from University on the Graduate Development Programme."
"I'm responsible for making sure that our line is as efficient and lean as it can be."
"I like the way that the company spots potential and gives people the chance to show what they can do."
"I really enjoy going out in the fields, especially on a lovely summer's day."
"One of the best things about working here is all the training and development."
"There's always something to learn and some new challenge to overcome."
"I'm passionate about getting the best out of potatoes and making sure that the end consumer does too."