How did you get where you are today?

By working hard, never giving up and being very determined. A sense of humour helps.

What is the best decision you have made in your career and why?

Choosing to study at an agricultural college - the Lancashire College of Agriculture (now known as Myerscough College). Not only did it enable me to start my career, I also met my future husband there whom I subsequently married, despite my mother advising me not to marry a farmer!

Whom do you most admire in the grocery industry?

Small producers who are passionate about their products.

Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career?

I have had many mentors. Latterly, I've been involved in a lot of developmental work and Mike Morris taught me that true development involves taking risks, failing at times and changing direction.

What is the most important piece of information you have ever been told?

It is better to make more decisions and get seven out of 10 right than deliberating for ever, resulting in few decisions being made and slower progress.

If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be?

To reward primary producers and processors more for their products.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Witnessing a new or existing small business developing and growing.

What is the one thing that you could not do your job without?

Having a capable team around me at work - you achieve nothing on your own and I need a supportive family as I live 55 miles from my place of work, so my children and husband frequently feed themselves!

If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why?

In many ways, nothing. The one thing that has held me back at times is not having a degree, but I don't think this actually affects my ability and it's not a problem at this stage of my career. Anyone who looks down on me for not having one, I think, stuff them!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today?

Have ambitions, work hard and go for it!

What do you like doing when you are not working?


Where do you hope to be in five years' time?

Working part-time so that I can have more freedom.