Head of Food Chain Unit

Job Title: Head of Food Chain Unit

Name: Terry Jones

Company: National Farmers Union

Professional Qualification(s):

  • BSC (Hons) Rural Resource Management 2.1 from the University of Reading
  • A-Levels in Geography, Chemistry & Biology.
  • 9 GCSEs.
  • IGD/University of Edinburgh Post graduate dip in Food & Grocery Industry Management, BASIS
  • Agronomy qualification & FACTS
  • Fertiliser advisers qualification.

Brief overview of your job: 

The NFU is the largest trade association representing farmers and growers in England and Wales. The food chain unit’s role is to enhance the public image of the NFU and its membership in the marketplace.

What does your job involve?

  • Develop new departmental business plans in line with NFU strategy on marketing and promotion of farming and growing activities. Trade marketing of the Red Tractor and specific commodities where appropriate
  • Arrange appropriate training for NFU members and staff
  • Ensure that key networks are maintained with other organisations and companies within the food industry in order to encourage greater understanding between producers and their customers
  • Manage projects with key organisations such as IGD, levy boards, food groups, retailers, caterers and manufacturers to ensure farmers and growers remain competitive in the marketplace
  • Communication: both internal and external with members, staff and food chain contacts through a variety of media. This involves dealing with broadcast media and journalists.
  • Foster the development of the Food Chain Unit as an effective team. Manage and guide the work of the Unit’s advisers.

What do you most like about your job?

  • The work is varied as I work with all of the major UK farming sectors – red meat, poultry, dairy, produce, sugar and arable.
  • I meet a wide range of people from small regional producers to managing directors of large agri-businesses, from junior buyers to chief executives of the multiple retailers
  • Working at the interface between farming and food is exciting. The reform of the CAP will decouple subsidy from production and should help the industry focus on the needs of its customers.
  • The NFU has a wealth of technical and policy knowledge within the organisation. The people I work with are team players and are always helpful.

What skills are required in your job?

  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Good time management skills
  • Problem solving skills

What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food & grocery industry?

  • Get as much experience as you can especially whilst in education
  • Join Leading Edge and get involved in the regular seminars and conferences

Career so far:

  • Cargill PLC – Account Manager, Key Account Manager and straight feeds trader.
  • MBM Welgro – Assistant Manager, responsible for all aspects of production, agronomy and logistics of potatoes destined for the processing industry.