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Added 25 August 2022
Hi Andrew, do you have a background in farming or agriculture?
As a farmer’s son, I was born into agriculture. I grew up working at our home dairy, beef, pigs, and arable farm. Outside the family farm, I worked for an agricultural contractor, seed cleaning, and dressing company before setting up my own agricultural engineering business.
Before becoming an assessor at NSF, I spent 15 years working on farms. I have worked in the agricultural sector my whole life.
So why did you become an assessor?
I was drawn by the idea of a career change, but I still wanted to be connected to agriculture.
You’ve been an assessor for three years, what skills and qualifications have you found to be essential to do the job?
To be a successful assessor, you need good communication skills and accuracy. A background and understanding of agriculture, a passion for the industry, flexibility, and compassion in difficult situations are also essential.
How much training have you had to become an assessor?
There is a lot of training involved before you can become an assessor. First there’s learning the scheme standards, then taking the Red Tractor exams; as well as researching current legislation.
Once qualified, you continue to develop your skills through ongoing training with Red Tractor, that keeps you up to date, combined with your experience working in agriculture.
How important is it to be kept up to date with industry practice and the standards?
As an assessor, it’s essential to monitor current legislation and issues affecting the agriculture industry. Alongside regular training with Red Tractor, reading the farming press and conversations with Red Tractor members keeps me up to speed.
What is the best (and the worse) thing about the job?
The best part of my job is the people I meet and the places I visit. But I’d say the hardest part is managing my diary to accommodate farmer’s needs.
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone who is considering becoming an assessor?
If you enjoy the freedom to manage your diary, have a broad knowledge and passion for agriculture, and like the opportunity to travel if you want to, then you would make a great assessor.
Assured Food Standards
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Contact for anything related to your membership including stickers
Lloyds RegisterTelephone: 0131 335 6643
Hanborough Business Park
SAI Global Assurance Services LtdTelephone: 01908 249973
NIFCC (Northern Ireland)
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Lissue Industrial Estate (East)