co-op farming pioneers

The Co-operative Group has launched a new training and development programme for young farmers designed to spot the “next generation of agricultural leaders”.

The retailer said it planned to recruit 60 young people aged between 21 and 35 to its Farming Pioneers scheme, with each recruit receiving 20 days of training spread over two years on topics spanning business growth, negotiation skills and lean management.

The Pioneers, of which 20 have so far been selected, will also be exposed to some of the high-profile challenging situations facing the agri-food sector, said Co-op senior agriculture manager Ciara Gorst, and will meet leaders from across the supply chain and visit real life case studies to see key business principles in action.

“We look forward to seeing them gain a range of new skills, build contacts which will last throughout their careers and watch them and their businesses develop as the programme progresses,” she said.

“We know delegates will gain huge insight into the business skills needed to compete on a world market and will complete the programme with a greater understanding of the whole supply chain and its relationship to value creation.”