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Spotlight on Matthew Kirtley: Driving Procurement Excellence at Eden Farm

Spotlight on Matthew Kirtley: Driving Procurement Excellence at Eden Farm
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Spotlight on Matthew Kirtley: Driving Procurement Excellence at Eden Farm

In the dynamic world of procurement, few professionals stand out like Matthew Kirtley, a dedicated Procurement Category Manager at Eden Farm. Hailing from Sunderland, Matthew has been an integral part of the Eden Farm team for nearly four years. As he approaches this milestone in August, we take a closer look at his journey, the changes he's helped implement, and his vision for the future.

A Workplace That Promotes Strong Relationships and Easy Communication

One of the aspects Matthew appreciates most about his role at Eden Farm is the autonomy it offers. The company's environment and culture are structured to facilitate personal and professional growth, free from the usual bureaucratic constraints. This autonomy not only fosters innovation but also enhances productivity.

Matthew notes:

"The cohesion of the head office function at Eden Farm is remarkable. Everyone knows everyone personally, which strengthens interpersonal relationships and leads to more effective, face-to-face communication. This is crucial for time-sensitive decision-making." 

Adapting to Seasonal Demands

Eden Farm's adaptability is another factor that Matthew finds inspiring. As a seasonal business, the company's volume output can double week on week with the right weather conditions. This flexibility, combined with a can-do attitude, ensures that operational constraints rarely hinder progress.

"Our ability to onboard national restaurant and retail distribution contracts within six months of notification exemplifies this adaptability," says Matthew. "It's this unique selling proposition that makes Eden Farm a fantastic place to work."

A Day in the Life

As a Procurement Category Manager, Matthew's primary responsibility is ensuring that stock levels consistently meet customer demand. His top priority is to monitor stock levels closely. Additionally, he focuses on enhancing commercial proposals by negotiating better cost prices with suppliers and incentivising them through volume uplifts.

Matthew is also pursuing his CIPS Level 5 qualification, a challenging yet rewarding journey that aims to elevate his procurement expertise to Chartered status.

Building a Strong Team

When asked about his team, Matthew beams with pride. 

"We have a team with a very strong work ethic and a real sense of togetherness. It's refreshing to come into work and look forward to seeing other team members."

Mentoring the Next Generation

Mentoring an apprentice has been one of Matthew's most fulfilling experiences, allowing him to give back and assist a driven and hardworking individual on their journey. This opportunity has enriched the apprentice's career and provided Matthew with fresh insights and a renewed sense of purpose. He advises those starting out in a procurement apprenticeship to be ready to adapt to changing internal and external factors, emphasising the importance of adaptability in facing challenges like the cost of living crisis, international supply chain issues, and COVID-19. Additionally, Matthew highlights the importance of time management and staying in touch with current trends to ensure an attractive product range for customers.

Life Beyond Work

Outside of work, Matthew is an avid sports enthusiast. He enjoys playing cricket at a semi-professional level and golf. He also values quality time with his family and friends, whether it's enjoying a sunny day with his girlfriend or watching a Sunderland match with close friends.

And when it comes to ice cream? "I love ice cream! I can't look past a Magnum Billionaire or a Lotus Biscoff stick on a sunny day," Matthew shares with a smile.

Dedication and Leadership at Eden Farm

Matthew Kirtley's journey at Eden Farm is a testament to the power of dedication, adaptability, and a strong work ethic. His contributions have not only reshaped the procurement team but have also set a high standard for future professionals. As Eden Farm continues to grow and evolve, it's clear that with leaders like Matthew, the company is in capable hands.

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