Change and growth in the markets

The traditional route for a person entering the market agency business has seen the youngster working alongside an older person, receiving on-the-job training.

The assumption was that the older person had all the knowledge needed, born out of experience. There was never any talk of taking the young person to another level through training and personal development.

The rapid pace of change

I have an interesting video clip entitled ‘Did You Know?’ This shows, in a few minutes, how rapidly the world is changing. For example, the Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004 and we are currently preparing our students for jobs that do not yet exist, that will use technology that has not been invented, in order to solve problems we know nothing of!

I often show this clip in training sessions to emphasise the need for ongoing personal growth and development.

The fresh fruit and vegetables that we grow and sell do not change with the lightning speed of some things shown in the video, but they are changing nevertheless – it just takes a little longer. Plant breeding, variety development, pest and disease control, production techniques, packaging, handling and storage, and so on – all of these are changing.

In order to remain competitive and to provide superior service to both farmer and buyer, market agents need to stay abreast of developments as best as they can. Working hard to earn a living might afford you little time for personal development. But the irony is that if you don’t make the effort, you will eventually be left behind – both in business and on a personal level.

Needed: committed students
I have mentioned before that all market agents must complete a three-module course to qualify as a ‘fresh produce commission salesperson’. This is an essential requirement in a sector where formal training was always scarce. Looking at the young students
who attend my courses, I see that in 90% of the cases, they are there because it is compulsory. I am pinning my hopes on the 10% who want to be there!