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Agrii strengthens fruit team with five new recruits

News - 02.07.24

We Have Expanded our Specialist Fruit Advisers Team

In response to growing demand for bespoke agronomy and environmental services advice, we have strengthened our fruit agronomy team with five new advisors.  This expansion reflects the evolving nature of the advisory role that extends beyond crop protection.

New Appointments Bringing Diverse Expertise

Commenting on the appointments, Agrii head of fruit Kevin Workman explained that the expansion of the fruit team was due to increased demand for agronomy services. This also reflects the evolving nature of the advisory role. 

“The new team are principally agronomists with backgrounds in soft, top, and stone fruit, ornamentals, and hydroponics, but their experience goes far beyond crop protection strategies. Careers on commercial farms and nurseries, with marketing groups or in specialist nutrition, means they will enhance the capabilities of the wider horticulture team within Agrii,” says Mr. Workman.

Agrii New Fruit Team Members

New members of the Agrii fruit team, from left to right: Ryan Williams, Jason Steels, Emma Smith, Robert Graham and Jonathan Garratt. 

Meet our new Specialist Fruit Advisers

Robert Graham

Robert Graham, 53, joined in January 2023 after spending more than 20 years managing a diverse soft and cane fruit production operation in mid-Kent.

“I was approached by a former colleague now also at Agrii and was impressed with the breadth of the employee training on offer, but also the company culture. This piqued my interest, but it was the vision for what an advisory role could be that excited me. The focus on sustainability and recognition of the need to find and develop new production methods reflected my desire to help growers meet tight market specifications while also being profitable.”

Emma Smith

Also joining in 2023 was Emma Smith, 32. Based in Leominster, West Midlands, Miss Smith held a fruit production role with growing and management responsibilities.

“The move into agronomy followed an undergraduate degree in horticulture and several years in commercial production. It was the broad scope of the role that appealed to me, and it has been extremely rewarding since.”

Jonathan Garratt

Jonathan Garratt, 36, joined in December 2023 and is based near Cambridge. He has a background in ornamental crops and has experience in trials and research .

“The move into commercial agronomy fulfils a long-term objective of mine. It represents the opportunity to apply the breadth of my experience by combining the technical with the practical while demonstrating regard for the wider environment and positioning me better to support growers.”

Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams, 29, joined in January after spending more than 10 years with Avalon Fresh on the top fruit marketing desk.

“I was excited by the opportunity to learn new crops, especially soft fruit and vines. Since joining I have taken full advantage of the training programmes at Agrii to expand my skill set. From the soft skills needed to foster good customer relationships to training in soils and sustainable production systems.” 

Jason Steels

Jason Steels, 34, joined in February and is based in Spalding, Lincolnshire. He came from a regional distributor and agronomy business where he worked primarily with outdoor and protected soft fruit systems.

“I enjoy the technical aspects, especially the focus on biopesticides and the challenge of incorporating them into a programme that respects the principles of an integrated pest management approach. With biopesticides accounting for more than half of Agrii’s R&D focus, it is personally rewarding to be joining a business that shares my enthusiasm for innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions.” 

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