William Church

No day is ever the same. During the export season I will check emails when I get up at 6am – this will include some daily orders and forecasts, the weather forecast (very important).

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Strong communicator, tenacious and flexible. The Jersey Royal is an extremely strong brand that all retailers want and use to kick-start the summer season, but potato consumption is in decline so there are constant challenges.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I am a farmer’s son, and so growing is in the blood. That said I never really planned my career path. Following university I worked for a training company that exposed me to different businesses, and from there I took every exciting opportunity that came my way, including working abroad. I moved to Jersey in 2002 to work for JPMO covering tomatoes and peppers as well as some potato exports. When tomato exports ended at the end of 2008 I joined The Jersey Royal Company.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
Fresh produce is tangible and everybody can relate to it. Every spring is exciting when you see the first plants emerge and then dig the first Royals of the season. It is a brand that generates such interest, emotion and discussion.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Working in produce is more a way of life than a job. Jersey Royals are seasonal, and the hours can be demanding.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I am both a Chartered Marketer and Chartered PR practitioner. Neither set of exams was in anyway essential, but it is interested to have interaction with others from different industries.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
In order to be successful in Sales and Marketing you need to be confident when interacting with others and to believe in the product and service you supply. Be prepared for regular travel to the UK for meetings. Understanding the production process is good but not essential, so having some practical experience along the way helps.

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