You work in food systems consulting with various clients from wholesale, restaurants, farms and startups. Can you give us an insight into what you do?
I have been active in various aspects of the food system throughout my 19-year career and have been an independent consultant for the past 7 years. I am working with farmers and producers in the foodservice sector, CPG companies and food tech companies. My main work is around sourcing and supply chain logistics, but I also support and consult companies.
The food system is broken on many levels, so my work and interest revolve around effecting change throughout the food system.
You are known to be a sourcing expert for the food industry. Before starting your career in independent consulting, you worked as a forager in an upscale hotel restaurant. How do you source and evaluate the producers?
I am a very curious person and I am good at research. I like connecting people and solving problems; besides, I love food. A lot of the relationships I developed have come out of my hobby: traveling, visiting farms and speaking about food. Over the years, I have built a great network of connections among farmers and producers. I believe, that is one of my secrets behind efficient sourcing.
I don’t have a formal system or survey to evaluate the producers. I get an impression by visiting the farm, speaking with the farmer and asking questions. Thanks to my years of experience in farming, agriculture, ranching and fishing, I know which questions to ask. So while there is no process in place, it happens naturally and works out well.