06Mar 2019
RBS Six Nations 2019

Six Nations or assignments?

February always brings the university campus alive; partly due to us entering the home straight of the academic year, but also for the start of the Six Nations rugby tournament! The stereotype of farmers and rugby is very much credible as the rugby jerseys come out of the drawers and are worn with pride throughout the weekend’s matches. Friendships go out of the window for at least 80 minutes each weekend, as do worries about assignments/ dissertations/ revision!

Talking of dissertations, they have certainly started to rear up into the thought processes of us final year students, particularly those who are doing surveys as their primary research method. My LinkedIn feed seems to be 99.9% filled with dissertation survey requests, but it must be said there are some very interesting research topics being covered this year.

As we end our last full month in the EU (supposedly), both second year and final year students continue to search for employment, whether it is for their placement year (3rd year) or graduate employment. March the 28th will be the calm before the storm in more than one way as it will be the final day before we leave the EU, but also the final day before we break up for a month for Easter, and we (final year Agri-Business students) will have two assignments due in on the first Tuesday back after the break! We’re also entering the start of a new crop season as 2019 spring barley is being planted and, matched with this current burst of sunny weather, it creates some stunning photo opportunities for the agricultural anoraks of these parts. Additionally, with the silage season not far away, Tractor Spotting 2019 will be in full swing by the time the next blog comes out!

In terms of academia in the last few weeks, we final years have had a few reading weeks to catch up on assignment and dissertation workloads. The last few days I’m sure have been a real test of resolve for some students who have had two large assignments due in on the same day, with one being worth 100% of the final year module! (Not one to forget to upload the digital copy!)

04Mar 2019
  • CNH Industrial N.V.

With the last visitors ushered out the door on Thursday afternoon, and exhibitor breakdown crews dismantling stands through the weekend, the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre will be looking pretty empty this morning. And that’s always how things work with the big national event centres: lots of fast-paced build up, the excitement of the event itself followed by a slick and rapid exit strategy, wagons loaded, equipment back to base, job done! Now to start following up those enquiries….

So, what was SIMA all about, and where does it fit in with the regular European exhibition cycle? No doubt that it still has a seat at the top table of European events – with visits from Didier Guillaume, French Minister of Agriculture, a number of well sought after and meaningful new product or innovation awards presented to the likes of CNH, Sulky-Burel, Laforge, Trimble and many others pioneering technology developments, plus conferences on the future of global farming and dealer seminars, there is a strong sense of business, networking and innovation throughout.

Much bigger than any UK event for sure – 1,800 exhibitors and almost a quarter of a million visitors tell you the scale of the event – but smaller again than the industry giant that is Agritechnica (widely acknowledged as THE major global machinery exhibition, over and above any of the big events in the Americas, Australasia or China), SIMA is great for a finger on the pulse of agriculture at a European level, with an exhibitor list comprising not just the usual household name prime suspects, but many more niche and technology-driven businesses as yet unheard of in our own small market. SIMA is great for the French market, and maybe its scale reflects the much larger French agricultural industry, and a seemingly much stronger empathy for and connection with ‘la terre’ – no militant vegan protests here for sure…

Does it sit in the shadow of its bigger, German cousin though? Almost certainly yes, as most of the big manufacturers save up their shiny new products for an Agritechnica launch (with nearly double the number of SIMA visitors it makes absolute sense to do so) , but in spite of this SIMA definitely holds its own and will no doubt continue to showcase the current and future technology trends, be a symbol of support for a changing industry and a magnet for visitors from across Europe and beyond who maybe look to wear out a little less shoe leather than the Hanover site will oblige them to, and enjoy some Parisian nightlife.

Here at JP Trett, we still managed to wear out 16 kilometres-worth of shoe leather (on day one alone), caught up with our agricultural recruiter partners from France and Germany, sharing some good international contacts, plus huge amounts of networking and ‘state-of-the-industry’ conversations with some influential industry leaders and decision makers. Very pleasing, as always, to also meet up with an impressive number of JP Trett-placed candidates, doing their thing in the environments they love and are passionate about.
All done for another year, better get flights booked for the Hanover trip in November – only 250 days to go!

22Feb 2019
  • England scoring try against France, 6 Nations 2019 Jonny May scores hatrick
  • Massey Ferguson at SIMA 2017 JP Trett visit
  • Claas combine at SIMA 2017 JP Trett visit
  • SIMA 2017 entrance signage. JP Trett visit 2017
  • SIMA 2017 entrance signage. JP Trett visit 2017

With SIMA almost upon us again and the 6 Nations in full swing, we head to the Paris International Agribusiness Show on the back of a nice victory against our European neighbours, looking forward to their hospitality! Swing Low Sweet Chariot…….

SIMA brings together 1800 companies from 42 countries and nearly 250,000 visitors (all professional) in what is one of the premium agricultural machinery events in the calendar (every 2 years). Why does JP Trett Ltd head there you may ask?

With so many innovative, dynamic and key industry players all in one place at once, we make the most of our time at such events to see as many of our past, present and future candidates and clients as possible. Usually with a full schedule day and night, our team are working 24/7 through these events to engage personally with contacts to better understand them and use the event for the networking that is crucial to modern recruitment in our sector. All too easily, recruiters make contact through electronic media (text, email, social media…) but at JP Trett we like to see with our own eyes the latest innovations, hear the latest views/news and meet face to face with the movers and shakers at events such as SIMA, Agritechnica, EuroTier, EIMA etc

Yes, we get to travel and enjoy the company of like-minded professionals trying to improve the industry; yes, we get to eat delicacies such as soupe à l’oignon, escargots, and cassoulet; yes, we get to try a selection of premium continental beers, and yes, we thoroughly enjoy our work!

So, what does our agenda look like when we visit one of these well-attended and positive events:

The trip to the airport is usually taken in the afternoon when we say goodbye to family, leaving them to digest the Sunday roast while we get checked in, confirm our appointments for the evening ahead and try and spot the agri-dressed Schöffel -wearers at said airport (usually found at the bar!) On arrival it’s a quick turnaround and out to meet the first wave of contacts that are keen to get our ear before moving on to a dinner and entertainment, keeping a mindful eye on the time and the early start looming: a balance of diplomacy, sensibility and ‘just one more’ attitude….

Early first day start and we board a busy tram/bus/train with a whiff of expectation (and French hospitality) before getting to the check in and scramble through the turnstiles and into the fresh air before hitting the halls. Unlike any major shows in the UK between the last Smithfield in 2004 and before LAMMA 2019 you are instantly hit by the magnitude of such an event and you then realise why it takes place every 2 years. Hall after hall, 250,000 visitors and 1800 exhibitors all shoe horned into their spaces – the footprint of this event is to behold. We can easily cover 20-25km in a day going from client to candidate, conference to competition and stand to stand seeing, hearing and touching all there is to see at such an impressive showcase event. We learn about agri-business in other countries, pressures on growers in places we have heard of but know little about, opportunities in locations that surprise us and meet people who all attend the show for one reason or another, but all share a common passion for the industry.

At this year’s event there are some interesting forums and meetings scheduled, ones we will be attending include: Charolais Competition, SIMA Dealers’ Day, Enhanced Agriculture: A reality today and tomorrow, Agro Equipment: Can it contribute to agroecology? Debriefing after Agtech mission in Morocco, Sima African Summit, Precision Farming for Weed control: Between Myth and Reality.

After two full days and nights we return to Blighty, weary yet excited, armed with new contacts and info ready to start the download of knowledge and opportunity back into the JP Trett machine. Tucked up in bed by midnight looking forward to a good night’s sleep and reporting back to the team.

As a forward-thinking recruitment business, JP Trett wholeheartedly embraces technology, but still places great emphasis on these events that need support to keep them successful. We are in the midst of significant change with such events and collaborations, but in attending we understand their importance and positivity first hand. This year we will continue to be the pioneers in the industry introducing new, ground-breaking staff members, new technology which will improve communication and strategy and be pursuing the best process for continuing our success, now in our 9th year of trading.



18Feb 2019
  • Phil Garnham JP Trett Divisional Manager Grain, Feed and Seed

Brexit is starving the UK’s successful grain trade of oxygen and direction:

Back in the summer of 2016, there seemed to be little to worry about.

It had been a reasonable spring and we were headed towards a sensible looking harvest.

The skies were blue, the sun shone and the word ‘Brexit’ was just a funny misnomer that had been borne out by the tabloids.

Fast forward to January 2019.

Since the spring of 2017, the grain markets have reached an impasse. First, it happened on the European markets – noticeable predominantly in the malting barley industry.

Our continental cousins in Germany and beyond wanted to buy, but they needed to know what tariffs they’d need to take into account.


And the UK would need to know what terms they would be selling on.

Ultimately, no knew what they were buying or selling against.

And so the trade has become less and less, with no clear direction being seen from either Number 10 or the EU.

You might argue ‘what’s this got to do with me, I grow feed wheat in Leicestershire!’

Well, the UK has been and will be a net exporter of grain to make sure we can remove our exportable surplus.

If we don’t have a market for our grain, then it can’t be sold. If it can’t be sold, your grain loses value.


And don’t argue about the relationship between sterling and the euro. While it does come into play, it’s not the dominant factor here.

The UK has been sleepwalking for two years and failed to give any thought to the implications of what a deal or no deal means in our industry, but worryingly, the noises coming out of Downing Street have been to make deals with the USA, and their chlorinated chicken.

The UK grain trade is the pinnacle of European trading, but right now it feels like it’s being starved of oxygen and direction.

Look at those forward markets boys and girls, because there’s no guarantee there will be buyers.

01Feb 2019
sausage on a fork

Back on the sausage and hash brown rolls – and the occasional graduate role!

As much as we all look forward to the Christmas break, I think the novelty soon wears off and within a few days we can’t wait to get back and crack on with the enormous amount of assignment work (and socialising!) I’m sure the university café sausage, hash brown and bread roll suppliers are very glad to have us back as somehow this concoction has become a staple of our daily diets – must be a fuel for creativity that scientific research has bypassed!

Over the next few weeks, several graduate scheme interview and assessment days will be commencing, with many students hoping they will not coincide with the Monday before a Tuesday assignment hand-in! Personally, I had my first ever video interview which required the use of an app which gives an allotted time to answer each question – an interesting experience with trying to answer the question and keeping an eye on the Countdown-style clock! For anyone wanting further advice on interview or CV writing skills, please see the links to JP Trett’s expert advice at the bottom of this blog.

We’ve now entered the calendar year in which finally, we’ll be graduating; equally alarming is the fact this is the calendar year that our dissertations need to be handed in. Although they probably took up the majority of everyone’s Christmas period, we had to hand in a draft literature review on the first Tuesday back, which, looking back on it, was a good strategic decision as everyone has now made a solid start on the project. We have also started to get some assignments back which we completed during Term 1 which was a worry but also a relief as we can start to get an idea of where we are heading in terms of our final grade and can identify where we need to improve to get the desired outcome from our course.

Looking at the start of next month, the annual student Take Me Out event will be taking place which is just as rare and cringe-worthy as it sounds! The business student cohort also has a few dates to look forward to this month, including a pilgrimage to the local Joules Brewery for some “tasters” and a night at Wolverhampton greyhound racing! Two welcome breaks from revision/assignments/dissertations……

For interview tips and advice please follow the link to our helpful downloads page;

11Jan 2019
Area Sales Manager Equine/Agri


WHO’S THE EMPLOYER? A market leader for the manufacture and sales of plastic livestock and farm equipment

WHAT’S THE INDUSTRY? Livestock and Farm Equipment

HOW WILL I BE REWARDED? Attractive Salary + bonus


TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE ROLE? We are recruiting a B2B Area Sales Manager to manage existing trade partners (through face-to-face visits) and identify/appoint new partners to support category growth and new product ranges for Scotland.

  • Key Account Management experience to develop solid working relationships with new and existing clients
  • Identify new business opportunities
  • You must be an excellent communicator and have a proven history of working and achieving sales targets within the agriculture or Equine sector
  • The role will give the successful individual the opportunity to attend networking events, trade exhibitions and open days and a free remit to grow the business outside the sales territory


  • Minimum 3 years field sales experience B2B
  • Strong working knowledge of farming, agriculture and equine is desirable
  • Applicant must be based in Central Scotland
  • Full, clean driving licence


So, we have your attention and motivation? We would love to hear from you if you are keen to find out more. In the first instance please forward your CV together with a cover note and salary requirements to and all successful candidates will be contacted within 14 days of us receiving your application. Please note that all applications will be treated in confidence.

10Jan 2019
  • LAMMA 2018
  • LAMMA 2019

One of these pictures is from a previous Lamma, the other from 2019…..

Lamma 2019 – Dawn of a new era?

Catching sight of my wellies as I left the house on Tuesday caused a brief flashback to Lamma Shows of previous years: cold, wet and muddy. With a jury’s out mindset travelling across to the NEC, I was pleasantly surprised by a painless and queue-free arrival at the car park, and then very easy entry to the exhibition – a good start!
Quickly apparent that a number of exhibitors had upped their game with the presentation of their stands, something only afforded by the move indoors. Lighting gantries, interactive VR displays, video walls, selfie booths, product launches – all pretty impressive. Kuhn, AgriArgo, JCB stood out in particular among many others ensuring a positive and professional visitor experience. There was a definite SIMA / Agritechnica feel to several stands……

Of course, there has been much discussion about costs rising with the move from Peterborough to the NEC, and these should not be underestimated. This may be a factor in the absence of a number of well-known manufacturers, but the presence of several senior figures from those companies was telling – one thing is for sure, Lamma 2019 is attracting considerable interest and curiosity! It’s certainly the event many in the UK machinery industry have been calling for over many years, and to a person all exhibitors I spoke with were highly positive about visitor numbers, visitor quality, and a willingness to spend time on stands rather than scurrying from one marquee to another through the rain or icy blast of previous shows.

It may be that exhibitors have to make some difficult choices regarding the allocation of future marketing and events budgets, and it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise if there is a stronger commitment to Lamma in future, with maybe some of the smaller regional events losing out. There’s another consideration too: if Lamma 2020 returns to near enough a full complement of the UK’s machinery businesses, where, physically, will they all be located within the NEC? A few dark corners here and there this week, but not thousands of square metres available. Tractors parked outside Starbucks, a plough in Subway?
From a JP Trett perspective, hugely pleasing to catch up with over 30 placed candidates working hard on their stands and continuing to do well in new career moves, as well as many others visiting: several in senior, influential roles. The turn of the year is always a good time to talk recruitment, but in the meantime, let’s see what Cereals deliver in June, and roll on Lamma 2020!


17Dec 2018
  • Harper Adams

A non-student December is usually a chance to wind down as business begins to halt, although for students it is a time of realisation that there are 11 weeks in term 1, and we’re now into week 11. Week 11 normally means at least one assignment hand-in, coupled with sincere and slightly sinister advice from lecturers that “you only have two weeks once you return from Christmas before the next assignment hand-in”, which quickly casts a shadow over the Christmas break. HOWEVER, December also means that a well-known fast food establishment releases their festive cheese dippers, which always softens the blow and a quick drive to Donnington Drive-Thru allows for a break in the assignments.

December also leads to the return of the seasonal late-for-lecture or did not attend excuse of “my car was frozen up” or in some cases “the front door was frozen up”, both are met with disdain! Nevertheless, its been a wonderful first term back at Harper and as we disperse home across the British Isles, everyone is looking forward to some downtime and some peaceful evenings… particularly the Newport locals!

The highlight of the term was without a doubt the Graduate and Careers Fair. It’s always an impressive sight and really puts into perspective the stature of the University within the industry from the number of companies that attend but also the size of the companies that attend. Looking into the new year, I’m sure many of us will flock across to the NEC for LAMMA ‘19 to stock up on free pens ready for the exam season and for us final years’ the dissertations are going to have to come off the back bench and take centre stage as judging by how quickly term 1 has flown by, the May deadline will come round just as quick!

Merry Christmas to you all!

22Nov 2018
  • Harper Adams Recruitment Fair
  • Harper Adams Recruitment Fair

November, as always, has been the month of the fairs at Harper with the scholarship and graduate and placement fairs happening on campus. For two days only, the Schöffels were accompanied with pristinely ironed shirts and shoes that haven’t been used as ‘bar shoes’ before, as leading agricultural businesses flocked to get their taste of ‘Harper Life’. It is always great to see old faces and to see the campus come alive. The only downside is the daily dogfight for parking spaces, which becomes even harder with car parks blocked off for the visiting businesses; especially on the Career and Graduate Fair day when 140 businesses came to visit!

Some students will have also made the trip over to Aston Villa Football Club on November 14th for the Farmers Weekly Ag Careers Live event. The JP Trett team were present to give hands-on advice to students from all over the country on their next career steps, and to pass on information on what employers and recruiters look for in CVs and candidates.

The value of the Harper Adams placement year on all courses and the research and external work the university does show through the business networks the university creates, enabling influential individuals from all industry sectors to come and give presentations. Hats off to the Harper Forum team this month for attracting Tony Warner, an ex-harper student who has set up the hugely successful Warner Edwards Distillery as a farm diversification. It’s fair to say the attendance for Tony’s talk was substantial, perhaps because of the free gin on offer afterwards…? Whatever the motives, I am sure everyone in attendance enjoyed his talk, offering a real-life insight into how a farm diversification project can succeed; which was gratefully received from us Agri-Business final year students who have a whole module based on farm diversification! Perhaps the standout visitor for the month was the President of the Ulster Farmers Union, Ivor Ferguson. Mr Ferguson spoke about the B-word and the view of the Ulster Farmers Union on the B-word, and the potential implications it could have depended on Mrs May’s (if she’s still in no.10 by the time this goes out) deal.

As I write this we are in Week 8 which is incredible as it seems like only yesterday we returned to this fabulous establishment after the summer holiday. Week 6 was a reading week for 2nd and 4th years so it was nice to have a break… I mean catch up on some Agri-Business extended reading. Also as November has gone on we are reminded of the fantastic initiative of Movember, as hirsute slugs begin to appear on the faces of staff and students. A special mention has to go to our Strategic Management lecturer Barry Whitehouse, who is offering students £1 a pluck to inflict some pain his upper lip – all in the name of charity! #PlucktheSlug 

02Nov 2018
EIMA 2018

JP Trett are off on their travels!
Our Machinery, Livestock and Grain, Feed & Seed divisions will be attending the following shows and look forward to seeing a few familiar faces from the industry:
EIMA International – Bologna – November 7-11, 2018
EuroTier – Hannover – November 13-16 2018
Ag Careers Live – Villa Park, Birmingham – November 15 2018
As the go-to recruiter for the agricultural sector, please contact us to find out what we can do for your business, or even if you are seeking a new challenge yourself.

For EIMA attendees and exhibitors, please make contact with James Garrod, / +44 7810 755594 to make an appointment.
Foe EuroTier attendees and exhibitors, please make contact with Phil Granham, / +44 7887 712133 to make an appointment.
For Ag Careers Live please contact Phoebe Gale, / 0845 6432896