Berry Gardens Supports Industry with Internship
Following successful steps towards encouraging careers and recruitment within the fresh produce industry, The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers will extend its support again this year, with the offer of two internships at Berry Gardens and G’s Fresh and up to three cash prizes for students, plus a prestigious Under 30s Award for young people already working in the fruit industry.
Incoming Fruiterers’ Awards Council chairman Chris Newenham, who is joint managing director of Wilkin & Sonsin Tiptree, Essex, tells PBUK these competitions will be offered alongside other opportunities at The Fresh Careers Fair, the annual fresh food and drink recruitment event which the livery will sponsor again on 13 March.
“The Fruiterers recognises that careers and recruitment are a very important area in fresh produce,” explains Newenham, who has taken over from Graham Collier, the outgoing Awards Council chairman interviewed by PBUK last year. “We’ve chosen for a few years now to focus our attention on this area.”
With the Brexit cloud looming large, Newenham notes that the most acute concern for the produce industry at this point in time is securing a viable and consistent workforce, without which businesses will be unable to drive forward at the pace that they would like.
“Attracting the highest calibre people to our industry is essential for it to continue to thrive and grow,” he says. “There is such an enormous breadth of opportunities for entrants; it is essential that we continue to promote these and encourage talent to look in our direction.”
To that end, the Fruiterers has garnered the generous support of Berry Gardens and G’s Fresh to offer two internships, which will be awarded this year.
“We’re looking for candidates who are currently in education, considering a career in the industry, and would like the opportunity to experience life first-hand in a produce-related business,” Newenham explains.
The winners will receive a week-long, all-expenses-paid internship, including accommodation and travel. Entrants will need to submit to the Fruiterers a written pitch about themselves and their career aspirations within the fresh sector, including why they want to work in the industry, plus what they feel they have to offer.
Last year’s inaugural internship offered by the Fruiterers was provided by G’s Fresh and awarded to Sam Brook, who is now looking towards a long-term career in the produce industry.
“We had a fantastic applicant from last year’s Fresh Careers Fair who had the opportunity to spend an all-expenses paid, week’s internship at G’s,” explains Matt Price, the Group Head of Learning & Development at G’s Fresh.
“We were delighted to meet Sam Brook, who had the opportunity last summer to explore the farming and supply chain aspects of our business. The team at G’s really enjoyed meeting Sam and commented on how enthusiastic they were about fresh produce and what we do here at G’s.”