Production Director, Vitacress Portugal
This is one of the most intensive forms of outdoor farming
If you have the skills, are proactive and have the work ethic, the opportunities will come.
How long have you been with Vitacress?
Total of 19 years.
What do you like about working for the company?
I have always enjoyed working on the farms with the growers in all geographies, a great team of grounded people. Baby leaf is fast moving and I have a lot going on all the time. This is one of the most intensive forms of outdoor farming, which you get a bit of a buzz from.
Also, I still get to go to the fields – too much time in the office and in meetings would drive me crazy. It’s good thinking time.
Tell us a bit about your time within Vitacress?
I started as an MDS trainee in Harvest at Mullens, in the UK, in 2000.
For the next eight years, I had opportunities to keep progressing in my career, from Assistant Farm Manager to, eventually, being appointed Farm Manager at Mullens’ Farm.
In 2009 I had the chance to move to Portugal, taking over the role of Farm Manager in Azenha, where I stayed for four years.
I left the business for a while in 2013, to try mushroom farming, but returned to Vitacress and to Portugal in 2017, as Production Director.
Currently, I oversee three farms in Portugal and the Procurement team.
What do you think about the people, culture and values?
People are great – they really live and feel the values!
In your experience, are there training and development opportunities for people at Vitacress?
Yes, if you have the skills, are proactive and have the work ethic, the opportunities will come.
Have you received support for your development?
Plenty of technical training in the early days, BASIS etc.
Sum up Vitacress in a few words
Fast paced, complex, challenging and when all goes well and the farms look good, a sense of achievement – is 18 words too much?
What would you say to a new person joining the company?
Be proactive, ask questions, learn, work hard and you will enjoy the challenges.
Share a funny story with us
Once, I was involved in a project and had to work a winter in Florida, growing spinach. The tractor we were given had just an engine, wheels and a seat with a few levers…. No roof, no mudguards… I came face to face with an alligator in an irrigation canal! I laugh about it now.
Raw Material Planner - Procurement, Vitacress Herbs
I started on a Graduate Programme in September 2021, and was meant to stay on the programme for two years rotating across four different parts of the business. However, I was offered a permanent position during my first placement, and ended up moving into an R&D Coordinator position in January 2022.
Group Environment Manager
My main responsibility is the management and delivery of the Vitacress environmental sustainability plan, Second Nature; brand ambassador for environmentally sustainability; leading the net zero Science Based Targets initiative; maintaining awareness of current legislation, emerging issues, international, national and local environmental issues, and manage their implications.
Process Improvement Coordinator, Vitacress Salads
I joined in September 2018 working a few days a week with no real plan. Since then, I’ve worked in a quality auditor role and after three years, having built up my experience and understanding of the business, I moved to a process improvement role to progress my career with Vitacress.
Harvest Supervisor – Mullens Farm
I spent 18 months working across various parts of the business within the growing/agronomy teams and on the farms. I worked on projects, many of which focused on our Second Nature priorities as we work towards net zero. For over a year now, I’ve worked at Mullens farm in Wiltshire managing the harvest team and getting involved in as many projects as possible.