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From poacher to gamekeeper
My first visit to AF was in 2020, working for a large agronomy merchant to drum up some business . It was a tough nut to crack. Having joined AF in April 2022, I can see why! We have fantastic relationships with our suppliers, and the buying power we can command makes me glad I’m now “gamekeeper”, and no longer “poacher”.
I couldn’t have joined AF at a worse time for the fertiliser industry. In April 2022, we were experiencing the full force of Russia’s hold on European gas pricing. And sanctions placed on one of the worlds biggest fertiliser exporters exposed just how much of a concern availability was. At AF, we manoeuvred through that obstacle course of issues very well when all is said and done.
Moving into spring 2023, we had a more robust plan in place with suppliers and grew Member fertiliser order volumes by 25%. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength.
Why? I think all the chaos in the fertiliser world means many Members are shopping around for fertiliser. They can see first hand the benefits available on both price and convenience when buying through AF.
Farming in my blood
I’m a 5th generation agricultural enthusiast. Both grandfathers were farmers (one in Herefordshire & one in Nottinghamshire) and my father has worked on the land all his life. I graduated from Harper Adams University with First Class Honours in Agri-Business, and went straight into crop nutrition.
My agricultural journey started on the farm of one of our most longstanding and loyal AF Members. There, I learned the essential, basic practical skills of working on farm.
Embarrassingly, the exuberance of youth got the better of me as when I finally worked my first harvest, I left the tailboard slightly open on my first trailer load of barley. I left a trail of barley on the road behind me for 7 miles, so everyone could see where I’d been. Nobody has let me forget it!
I love my job at AF. I think AF Fertiliser has been a sleeping giant for the last few years. Now we’re wide awake and providing excellent value for our Members. I am proud to be leading a great department where we can really make a difference to our Members crops and gross margins.
From farming to football
The bit of my brain that isn’t taken up with all things fertiliser is mostly filled with my love for sport. I play cricket for the local team (which, Norfolk being Norfolk, is pretty much a family team!) and am a keen golf, rugby, and football fan.
My house backs onto a Member’s field, so you’ll regularly find me walking our two labs round the 120ac block to make sure things are all in order – crop walking fee to follow!!
Labrador Buzz knows good beet when she finds it!
Josh Joachim Fertiliser Procurement Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org 01603 881 937