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Tasty careers in farming and food supply – from field to fork

Take a look at the fascinating world of careers in farming and food supply and land yourself a tasty career in the agri-food industry.

Whether you live in a city or you’re surrounded by fields, you are interacting with agriculture every day without even realising it and very time you eat a meal, you are consuming the products of the agri-food, farming and food supply industry – one of the largest in the UK and worldwide.

How big is the agri-food industry?

The agri-food industry employs 3.5 million people in the UK, which is roughly equivalent to one in every seven jobs but they’re not all farmers. Farmers are at the heart of food production, but what they do is just part of a growing network of occupations which contribute to the highly complex process of turning livestock and crops into the food on your plate.

Who works in the agri-food industry?

It takes hundreds of people to produce something as simple as a sandwich. Behind the scenes, research scientists investigate how to make healthier, higher yielding crops. Agronomists (plant specialists) advise farmers on how to deal with weather, pests and diseases. Policy officers work with the government or travel to Brussels to work with the European Union, to ensure that agri-food is high on the political agenda.

Skilled mechanical engineers design, build and service the huge machinery essential in the harvesting and processing of such large quantities of food. Traders and buyers watch the global markets, ready to spot the best deals.

People who work in agri-food do more than you think. They work in scientific research using cutting-edge technology. They are creative problem solvers, working towards achieving food security. They get to travel, earn competitive salaries and have great scope for career development in their chosen field.

How do I get into an agri-food industry job?

There are many routes into this industry, whether  you want to do a degree or  a more hands on, learn on the job person. Studying science subjects will provide you with a strong foundation but many different subject areas can offer a route into a career in agriculture.

Interested? The following are just a few roles you could consider in the world of farming and food supply you can find out more about the industry on our dedicated agriculture, forestry and fishing page:

Research – scientific research into all aspects of farming, food and agriculture.

Engineering and manufacturing – designing agricultural machines and equipment or carrying out maintenance and repairs.

Logistics and transporttransporting animals and food, from farms to shops and restaurants.

Trading – dealing and trading in agricultural products on the stock market in the City.

Farming – Raising livestock and/or growing arable crops.

Management – farm and estate management, land management

Policy advisor – talking to governments about agricultural policy and practice.

Renewables – making farming environmentally friendly.

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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