A year in Review – JP Trett Ltd – Shaping Strategy and Organising Talent
One can only start a review of 2019 with the pending back-end result of the year in mind, given that we are about to enter a General Election brought about by the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
Entering 2019 was again another year of uncertainty, with NFU President Minette Batters using her New Year message to outline farming priorities for the forthcoming 12 months and urging everyone with an interest in UK Agriculture to join forces and push for clarity on future domestic agricultural policy. As it happened, we had an extension which has again kicked the can a little further down the road! A survey done by the NFU stated that 21% of farmers said they would be cutting investment over the next 12 months.
So without dragging the Brexit excuse all the way through the year, at JP Trett we adapted our business to ensure we were going to end the year with a positive message to the industry and look to make a positive change to the businesses that we represent and assist in progressing their fortunes. We changed our strapline to ‘Shaping Strategy and Organising Talent’ – a great explanation of where we are going. Throughout the year we assembled what can only be described as a high-level business strategy team of consultants that will work under the JP Trett banner as business consultants to the sector we represent and support – Agriculture. No longer will we be seen purely as a niche recruiter to the industry; moreover as a business which can provide intelligence and insight to companies as well as shaping and organising their talent, potentially leading to recruitment as part of the whole package on offer.
Heading into and hopefully out of uncertainty will bring with it the needs of professionals with a defined skill set and experience which will capitalise on the needs of the industry and how to adapt and transform to make sure business is future proof and progressive. More can be found on our website and in the attached e-brochure, and we are now a stronger network of professionals than ever before, able to offer a diverse array of strategy advice and recruitment to so many more.
Another adaptation of our business plan was to gear our investment into the Agritech sector. With a strong connection to this rapidly growing sector and The Department for International Trade, we attended a number of key DIT events and spoke with many delegates and members of the Agritech team. This strengthened our presence in the sector with our current client base of technology companies as well as opening doors to the new start-up industries and other sectors that have entered the agricultural arena. From attending other high profile events including LAMMA, SIMA and Agritechnica, it was clear to see that new technology is powering through the R&D sections of many large and small businesses and it is to be admired. We can safely say that the foresight and dream of many of these businesses and pioneers are to be the change specialists first. From unmanned tractors to electric or methane-powered tractors, robots in the field called Tom, Dick and Harry to drone and satellite data usage and insight, fed from underground or overground sensors all offering real-time data. We have seen protein sources from the sea, from the city and from waste. Protein could soon be entering the food chain (if not already) from insects, algae, new plant strains and aquaculture as well as ‘In vitro meat’… the mind boggles.
Wanting to continue to be seen as pioneers in the sector, we have also spent a considerable amount of time and resource looking at the clients of the future and also how our current clients are going to need to adapt too. It was an important shift in effort and one that paid off with 30% of all our business this year being direct with Agri-Tech companies, specialising in services into the technology side of agriculture. We also had an upward shift towards more senior roles and the average salary for our campaigns was 40% up on previous years’ averages. Coming into our 10th year of trading, this shift was expected as you track placed candidates and move into the higher echelons of management within your client and candidate sector.
With a team of 10, and increasing all the time, JP Trett is positive about the future. We have skills, experience, reputation, strategy and morals which will enable us to become even stronger, more present and more forward-thinking than ever. If I could wish for one thing this Christmas it would be to see forward 10 years into agriculture as I think we are in for one crazy ride – I would like us to be ready for the challenges ahead!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020