Martin Taylor

Managing director, Sharpak Bridgwater and Yate, on helicopters, shelf lives and Luc Besson

What was your first ever job? A commis chef in an Italian restaurant - a baptism of fire into the food industry, which I loved. My first full-time role was as an engineering geologist.

What’s been your worst job interview? I applied for a part-time role working in a restaurant kitchen, while studying for my degree. Thirty seconds into the interview I realised that what had been advertised and the discussion taking place were poles apart. I should have left there and then, but sat through the whole interview instead. A huge waste of my time and a valuable lesson learnt.

How do you describe your job to your mates? I figure out what Sharpak should do and then help everyone do it.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Helping people develop beyond their expectations.

What is the least rewarding part? Spending time away from my young family.

What is your motto in life? Get on and do it.

If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? A helicopter. With pilots.

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? Shorter shelf life and not for the obvious reasons. Much as the industry strives to achieve longer shelf life, food is only at its optimum for a certain period of the time and therefore suffers if extended. We’ve seen complex innovations towards both packaging and food products over recent years, but we shouldn’t forget that we also want our food at its optimum taste.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? A fridge. It would extend the life of any food.

What animal most reflects your personality? A dolphin.

What’s your favourite film and why? The Big Blue, by Luc Besson. I find the cinematography incredible and I can relate to the emotional journey the characters embark on.

Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? Professor Brian Cox. He seamlessly combines music and science with elegance. At Sharpak, the scientific approach to innovation in plastic packaging requires explaining complicated developments in a simple way - much the way that Professor Cox does. It would be fantastic to work with him.

Topics