My Four Positions
As many of you know this will be the fourth consecutive summer I have been working at NatureFresh Farms. Being a student from the Leamington area it is common to look toward the greenhouse industry for a summer position. As the orders for fresh produce begin to increase, there are plenty of summer positions available with a great deal of hours, a student’s summer dream job (we are all broke).
My first position with NatureFresh was a gatekeeper in the pack house and before you ask, no this position actually had nothing to do with guarding a gate. The purpose of a gatekeeper is to keep track of inventory as the produce is taken from boxes and packaged into the bags, trays, and clamshells you will find within the store, for instance a three pack of rainbow peppers. Moreover it is our duty to print the labels you will find on these packages. During my second summer I was repositioned in the shipping and receiving office of the pack house as a shipping/receiving clerk. This position entailed communication with the forklift drivers as well as truck drivers and a large amount of paperwork. For my third summer I was repositioned once again to the packing line. This was a labor intensive position where we graded the produce based upon quality and packaged the produce accordingly. Finally my fourth (and current) summer I have been repositioned to the marketing department where I travel with the mobile greenhouse. As we travel to different stores, shows, and schools we show people the processes involved in during the growing period at NatureFresh Farms.
What Each of These Positions Have Taught Me
Starting my first position as a gatekeeper I was quickly thrown into the computer system NatureFresh Farms uses. Furthermore I had to quickly learn the different packages that NatureFresh assembles and the amount of produce that goes into each of them. By the end of my first summer I was proficient in printing the labels, a very tedious and time-consuming process, I was aware of all the packs, the attention of detail that went into each, and finally how much produce was necessary to assemble them. In my second position I became aware of the daily struggle of fitting trucks in loading docks (something I will never get the hang of). My biggest take away from the shipping office is the importance of every step in the process important every step of the process; from picking to packing to shipping. My third position was on the frontlines, packing the produce. Working on the packing line was the most labor-intensive position I have worked at NatureFresh, it taught me the dedication, time, and care that goes into each pack of produce.
My most recent position at NatureFresh is the #GEC trailer. At the beginning of my fourth summer of employment I was finally taken on an official tour through all the greenhouses. This was a beautiful sight with a much warmer internal environment (for those of you who don’t know a pack house is essentially a giant cooler). It was pretty astounding to see that the tiny peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes we put into packs came from such monstrous plants. I was also very pleased to see the amount of effort that was put into producing such perfect produce, similar to how hard everyone is working within the pack house. Overall, each position has taught me something new that I have brought together to give an opinion of NatureFresh Farms.
How My Experience Helps Me Today
During my current employment on the #GEC I use all of the knowledge I have collected over the past four summers at NatureFresh to help inform the consumer on every step it takes to get produce to the shelves. I find one of the most rewarding experiences are when consumers are delighted by the quality of produce that NatureFresh produces, it goes to show that all of the hard work being put in down the line truly does make for a better product. Having behind the scenes experience gives me a greater respect for NatureFresh and the great quality of produce they have. Along with my knowledge in the produce industry with NatureFresh Farms has come great friendships and people that I will treasure for a very long time. This includes a special shout out to the GEC family that I have been with almost everyday so far this summer.
Until next time blog buddies – HQ