This month’s star buyer, Michael Seymour, has been praised for his knowledge of the dairy industry, says Fiona McLelland

The six dairy buyers who received the most nominations from suppliers all had one thing in common: they were praised for their ability to deliver on a promise.
This month’s Star Buyer is Michael Seymour, dairy buying manager for butter and fats at Tesco. His vast knowledge from working within the dairy industry for 15 years made him stand out from the crowd, said one supplier. “He is clearly the most experienced buyer within this category. He knows his business from all angles and is in a very good position to understand exactly what can and can’t be done.”
Brigid Davidson, senior buyer for chilled at Iceland, has 18 years’ experience. One supplier commented: “We have nominated Brigid for the fairness of her approach, her ability to make decisions and the sheer workload she carries.”
The Co-operative Group’s category manager for dairy, Paul Dumbrell, also has many years’ experience as a chilled food buyer. “Paul is very proactive,” said one supplier. “He is in touch with customers’ desires and he does what he says he will do.”
Two of Asda’s dairy buyers have been nominated. Nicola Lees was nominated for her great understanding of the market and consumer. “She is interested in growing the category to maximise potential in new growing segments; she is very approachable and good at making things happen.”
Della Myers joined Asda straight from university in 1995. She is now team leader of Asda’s dairy buying department. “Della leads by example,” said one supplier. “She is always contactable and gets results.”
Michael Luck, Sainsbury’s chilled drinks buyer in the dairy department, appeared on the Six of the Best page last year. And again, suppliers rated him for his collaborative working style. “Michael is a buyer you want to work with. He negotiates hard but always looks for win-win solutions.”