I joined Emmett in 1999 as Managing Director. With the help and encouragement of the Emmett family and the financial support of a friend, I bought half the business in 2002 and the remaining half in 2007. Having been Managing Director for nearly 20 years my role has recently changed to Chairman. Working closely with my fellow board members I try to have an overview of all aspects of the business both in the UK and abroad. I spend a lot of time on the farms as farming is the life-blood of what we do and has been my life-long passion. If we really are to be “Driven by the people who eat our products” then great farming is essential. We aim to create tasty products that are market-leading in quality and value; when we do this our business continues to grow.
Group Managing Director
I joined Emmett in 2008 having just graduated from Essex University with a degree in marine biology. I decided that marine biology, for me, was an interest not a career and was unclear as to what to do for a job; a chance meeting with Colin landed me a role supporting the customer team at Emmett. Ten years on, through a combination of luck and grasping my opportunities, I became Managing Director with responsibility for the whole group. My primary role is to have forensic knowledge of our consumers and customers. With my teams, I look after all aspects of our relationships with customers and the development, manufacture and performance of our products. Innovative marketing, pricing and a constant drive for quality improvement have made our products increasingly popular and driven our sales; I have really enjoyed being part of this and can see areas to develop in the future. With a supply chain to manage from land selection, farming, harvesting, packing and product development, the creation and retention of a great team with a complimentary and diverse skill-set is key to what I do.
Company Secretary, Treasury and HR
Having had a few jobs in the two years since leaving school I joined Emmett just after they arrived in Lincolnshire in January 2003. Starting in the finance team, purchase ledger led to covering sales ledger which led to treasury. Appointed to the board in 2016 as Company Secretary I have some very specific responsibilities in terms of treasury, payroll and HR with some broader roles encompassing the office function and people. Working at Emmett is not just about doing your job, it is about understanding how we want to do our jobs and the sort of place we want to work. I have been able to build my career at Emmett and have an input into how we work and what sort of business we want to be. I am determined that we are able to give the same opportunities to others that Emmett has given many of the senior team like me.
Managing Director Emmett Murcia SL
I first got involved with farming in Spain in 1992 and moved here permanently in 2003; I joined Emmett in 2011. Growing in Spain has a lot of the same principles as growing in the UK but in practice it is very different. Organic and conventional spinach, kale and cavolo nero are our core crops; we are producing in winter when demand in the UK is at its highest. Emmett Murcia is a stand-alone business with its own administrative functions, so although I am a grower my role demands much else besides. With the growth that we have seen in my time at Emmett I have been able to build a team that is increasingly specialised, and we have invested in the best equipment, including robotics, in our factory. Having never found a spinach harvester that does a good enough job I decided that we should build our own; having learnt through working prototypes we now manufacture a machine that is used throughout the group and will be marketed elsewhere. We should and do use our scale to be the best at what we do.
Managing Director Emmett Italia SRL
I worked for Emmett, in Surrey, during the placement year of my degree at Harper Adams; having graduated in 1996 I re-joined the business. I had no background in farming or food but had become fascinated by the machines and processes that turn vegetables into marketable food products. From running a line, then a shift, I was made factory manager in 1999. I was instrumental in the design and build of our new factory in 2002 and our move from Surrey to Lincolnshire. Over time I have led the investment and implementation of large capital projects, most recently with us embracing robotics. In 2016 I was challenged with setting up and running Emmett Italia SRL where we grow conventional spinach. My family and I have moved here to Italy so that I can drive this new venture. I am Emmett’s longest serving employee but far from being bored Emmett is giving me a career with all the challenges and opportunities that someone like me could hope for.
I joined Emmett in 2017 in my current role. Before Emmett I had similar roles within food manufacturing businesses involving proteins and cooking. On the one hand my move into vegetables is into a less complex environment than manufactured products; however, our ability to get into the detail and the luxury of our in-house raw material supply widens the scope of my role considerably. Safe, high-quality supply chains are all about control; at Emmett we are obsessed with control from the land we chose to farm to the consumer’s view of how our products taste. I have a lot of focus on our factory and the finished products we make. I also spend time with our customers looking at product data and performance. There is an embedded quality culture at Emmett; my job is to support, measure, develop and occasionally challenge this. I enjoy being part of a business where we are clear that we want to be the best at what we do.
UK Farms Director
Having joined Emmett in 2016 I am one of the newer members of the board. My career before Emmett was in large-scale arable farming where I grew potatoes, onions and daffodils in amongst arable crops. A bigger role in a bigger business, whilst still farming, was the draw of Emmett. My job is to build my team to cope with the expanding hectares of both conventional and organic crops. Great farming is all about getting the small details right every day. Coordinating our growing to satisfy our weekly sales is a big part of my job; for example, we grow around one hundred unique crops of spinach in the UK each year to satisfy the summer sales. Sustainability is fundamental within farming; our sourcing of people, land, water, seed, agrochemicals and fertiliser must all be safe and sustainable, and the decision processes of our usage of these inputs must be justifiable. Our quality is under scrutiny every day. Our products are so specialised that there is no secondary sale for inferior crops; being involved with fast-growing crops for retail customers really is the sharp end of farming. It is not for everyone, but I enjoy being part of a team that involves both farming and creating finished products enjoyed by consumers every day of the year.
I have had two Emmett careers. I joined in 2003 as a part-qualified accountant and finished my training here in 2006. The grass looking greener elsewhere, I left Emmett in 2007 to join Perkins PLC before moving on to Cummins PLC, I had four enjoyable and formative years working for large global businesses. With broader experience I returned to Emmett when an opportunity arose in 2010 as Financial Controller and in 2011 I became Finance Director. As a business we need accurate and fast financial information to operate effectively; my team and I provide this. I need to have an eye on the future; with increasing sales and our determination to grow everything we sell our financial strategy needs careful consideration. As an accountant my skills can be applied to many different industries. Fresh produce is unique and the way that Emmett embraces the whole supply chain makes my role both complex and fascinating.
Having retired after forty-one years with Deloitte, with sixteen of those with Emmett as a key client, I am delighted to join the board of a customer-focused and innovative group of companies. I know the industry, this business and its people well from the outside and am enjoying getting to know the business and the team better from the inside.
I own and run a business that sources, develops and manufactures electrical products for end-users, wholesale, retail and utility customers. Although not directly involved with food and agriculture, we share some of the challenges and experiences that face a business like Emmett. I have known Colin for over twenty-five years and have been involved with Emmett since 2001, joining the board in 2005.