The challenge / opportunity
Barfoots is one of the fastest growing fresh food producers and energy providers with farming operations in the UK, Spain, Senegal and Peru. The company has two manufacturing sites on the south coast of England and is growing its core and added value product range with all major supermarkets in the UK.
Eden Search & Select was exclusively retained by the Group Managing Director to seek a highly experienced operations director to lead operations in the UK. Given the growth ambitions of the business, and its rapid expansion in added value products, Eden Search & Select was tasked to look outside of the sector to engage with Chief Operating Officers or Group Operation Directors. The aim was to find an individual with the professional experience to lead an operations strategy to manage double-digit growth of a vertically integrated business. That person also needed to have the right personal values to fit within a privately owned family business with a small but exceptionally high performing board of directors.
Eden Search & Select embarked on an extensive talent identification and engagement process across the UK within the wider food and drink sector, targeting operation professionals experiencing similar high growth capacity challenges. Given Eden Search & Select had been working with Barfoots since its inception, the team utilised its deep sector experience and unique cultural insight of the Group Managing Director and other board members to ensure the right fit of professional and personal qualities.
Eden Search & Select presented five candidates for the role in line with the client brief. After an extensive interview process, one candidate was successfully appointed and able to start within six weeks.
The speed of the appointment and subsequent start of the Operations Director has given the business excellent functional leadership and allowed the Group Managing Director and his board to focus on their work at a time of rapid growth within a challenging and dynamic market place.