Food Supply Chain: The perfect opportunity for a career switch

Food Supply Chain: The perfect opportunity for a career switch

Michael Alexander is a Raw Materials Quality Controller with Branston Potatoes. Before entering the food and fresh produce industry, he worked as a Retail Store Assistant and Delivery Manager for a large department store brand, with unstable income and little opportunity for progression. Michael hadn’t considered a career in food until a friend who worked at Branston Potatoes Ltd recommended he apply.

Life before the food industry

“I didn’t have a connection to the food industry before working at Branston, my mum is a school Science Technician, and my dad is a Mechanic. After I finished school, I went to college to study photography, and I then worked for a large clothing and department store retailer for about three years.

I enjoyed working in retail, but there wasn’t much stability—contracts with very low hours that really fluctuated at certain times of the year and little progression opportunities. I could never guarantee full-time work.”

Finding Branston

“I came across a position with Branston through a friend who worked there. What initially attracted me was doing something that offered a challenge and was completely new. I’ve always liked a busy and fast-paced work environment, so coming to an intake QA/Weighbridge job seemed ideal.

A lot of the skills I developed in my previous role were easily transferred to a job in the food industry. Working well under pressure in a small team was always something I needed to be good at when working in retail, and now I use this experience to ensure we get all the crops to the factory in time to be processed.”

Career Switch

“Completely changing my career wasn’t all easy though. I was very used to working in a customer-facing role, so transferring into a job where I didn’t see hundreds of customers a day took some getting used to. But I soon adapted.

Not long after working for Branston, I quickly realised what a key industry it was. I knew I wanted to make a career out of this for myself. Since starting, the Branston team have pushed me to progress. I have had the opportunity to get more involved in the farming side of the business. This experience has helped me realise that I’d love to work in an agronomy role.

I would always recommend a career in the food production industry, even if you haven’t considered it before. It can be pretty daunting to people who see it as a busy and pressurised environment. However, once you get settled in, you realise just how important and rewarding the work you’re doing is. It’s so important to our country.”

We can help

MDS have launched two new food supply chain development programmes. If you would like to find out more about how we can support you in making a career switch please contact us:

It might just be the best decision you will ever make!