Jolene Denley - Farm buyer
Jolene Denley Farm buyer

“You reap what you sow”

Buying grains and other important ingredients from farmers is all about building relationships, says Jolene Denley. At the end of her first year working for Cefetra, she shares her experiences so far. “If you’re a people person, and if you’ve got stamina, you can make this work.”

Buzz

When Jolene joined Cefetra in the Spring of 2022, she already knew a lot about our line of work. “I’ve always worked in agriculture. Initially on a dairy farm and later for a large chemical company, doing crop  trials. Then, I spent 13 years as a wheat buyer for a flour mill. There were a lot of skills I could bring with me to Cefetra.”

She is working as a farm buyer, based in Yorkshire. “Cefetra is relatively new in the north of England. It’s exciting to help grow the business. To get the name out there, get more farmers on board. My role is to buy key ingredients directly from them. Grains, peas, beans, oilseeds, specialty crops. The key part is building the relationship. I absolutely love that. I enjoy finding out how we can help each other and securing the contract. I get a buzz from getting the right price for the farmer.”

Jolene Denley farm buyer standing in front of a wall with a word cloud

“I enjoy the variety of the job”

Jolene Denley – Farm buyer

Stamina

Harvest time is an interesting part of Jolene’s work. “It’s exciting to see what this year’s produce will be in terms of quality and quantity. That’s one of our busiest times of year. We go out to the farm, we sample the crops, we send them to the lab. Then, we find out how the farmers want to market it and we work out how we can buy it.”

“To help build these relationships, be it existing accounts or new accounts, we attend conferences and shows three or four times a year. I enjoy talking to people face-to-face rather than just on the phone.”

These events include Cereals and YAMS, the Yorkshire Agricultural Machinery Show. “YAMS has been a highlight for me so far. In one day, we’ve spoken to more than 80 farmers. Another personal highlight is how my confidence has grown. It was a slow start, introducing farmers in the area to Cefetra, but now my phone is ringing more. The more I put into the job, the more I get out of it. It’s important to realize that.”

Getting results

“I enjoy the variety of the job,” she says. “We plan our own day. Of course, a couple of meetings are set in stone. For instance, a meeting on Monday where the traders tell us what’s going on in the market. Otherwise, you decide what to do with your time. Some buyers prefer to be in the field a lot, others prefer to work from their desks. The support is there when you need it, from our manager and wider team”

“It’s up to us,” she concludes. “During my job interview, Simon, the manager, said: ‘You have to be driven.’ I definitely am. And it’s nice to see the results when you get them. If you’re a people person, and if you’ve got stamina, you can make this work. What’s that saying again?” She smiles. “You reap what you sow.”

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