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Fresh Food Market Conditions Drive Growth at Executive Search Firm


Executive search firm Berwick Partners has expanded its practice team dedicated to the FMCG sector in response to changing trading and market conditions for fresh food manufacturers, producers and retailers ahead of Brexit.

As growing numbers of consumers are moving to ‘Buy British’, the market for sustainably sourced fresh produce and meat-free options continues to grow, and as many grocery retailers tackle the indecision created by Brexit and attempt to secure supply chains and delivery of goods, the firm has appointed agriculture and fresh food and produce sector leadership specialist Mike Thornhill.

Mike’s experience blends a knowledge of consumer goods from working in commercial roles at Thorntons, Coca-Cola and Honeywell, followed by a move into specialist executive level recruitment for a leading recruitment organisation, working with clients in the UK and overseas.

Richard Love, Managing Director of Berwick Partners, comments:

“Current trading conditions for fresh food producers and manufacturers sees them being squeezed by both consumers and retailers, and strong leadership is critical in these challenging and uncertain times.

“Despite facing some challenges, the sector remains cautiously optimistic, and whilst Brexit creates indecision and ambiguity, it also presents tremendous opportunity for many food, drink and consumer goods organisations, particularly those prepared to be agile, and to adapt and innovate.

“Our FMCG Practice team is already rich with drinks, confectionary, consumer lifestyle and wellness sector specialists, and Mike’s appointment reaffirms our commitment to the consumer sector to ensure insights, knowledge and added-value for our clients in the fresh produce and agriculture sectors.”

A Manchester Metropolitan University Business Management graduate, Mike holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Retail Buying.

Of his appointment, he says:

“Increasingly grocery retailers are looking to UK producers and manufacturers to support a strategy for simplified supply chains that address possible implications of a ‘No Deal’ or a ‘Bad Brexit Deal’. Combined with a rise in consumer demand for sustainability, this means the sector is ripe with opportunity, and building teams with strong executive leadership is central to delivering on these strategies.

“Berwick Partners’ heritage and reputation in the marketplace are second-to-none,” he adds. “Joining such a high calibre, professional and credible team at this pivotal time is an opportunity to support clients in the fresh produce and agriculture sector to achieve their transformational leaders and change management strategies at a time of unprecedented importance.”