Today we “meet” another member of the Food Technology and Innovation Department, Senior Lecturer and Placement Manager Alastair Boot.
Alastair is a Harper Adams alumnus, having left the university as a student to pursue a career in the retail industry. With 15 years of experience with Waitrose and John Lewis, Alastair returned to campus to inspire the next generation of food graduates.
On his career to date, Alastair commented: “The variety within my background helps me relate to a broad range of people, roles and businesses.
“Food retail - in all its forms - faces challenges and needs the best quality graduates. Even if students do not want to work in retail, everyone in the industry should have an understanding of this important, dynamic and demanding sector.”
Applying his industry experience with Waitrose, Alastair's focus is in food retail. He is most interested in customer loyalty and, to help the rural economy, farm shops.
As Placement Manager, he is also interested in the development of student employability skills in readiness for their graduate careers. He said: “Coaching and supporting graduates and leaders in the John Lewis Partnership gave me insight into what it takes to build success early in your career. I am using this insight to help food students prepare themselves for their graduate careers.”
To find out more about Alastair's work, you can read his latest blog with colleague Dr James Bell about the challenges facing the food industry in the wake of Covid-19 as well as the opportunities this presents for local retailers.
Our Food Technology and Innovation Department has staff with expertise in every step of the food chain, from farm gate to plate. If any of the above topics intrigue you, explore our undergraduate or postgraduate degree opportunities.