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    Fresh produce graduates celebrate achievements

    Posted 14 July 2015

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    The 2015 MDS 'graduates'

    The latest group of students to complete a fresh produce management qualification came together for a special celebration at Harper Adams University recently.

    MDS (Management Development Services) delivers a two-year Post Graduate Certificate in Food and Fresh Produce Management, which is accredited by the university in Shropshire.

    Graduates from groups 32 and 33 were invited to the Regional Food Academy on campus to receive their certificates and to celebrate their success with friends and family.

    The students and their guests were welcomed by Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams, Dr David Llewellyn. Dr Llewellyn said: “This happens to be a particularly strong programme that we are delighted to be partnering with.

    “It continues to operate extremely successfully as an educational pathway that produces highly-trained managers for the fresh produce sector. That sector really is an extremely important part of the food chain in the UK and we are delighted to be part of that success.”

    Announced at the event was the award for the best synoptic paper, presented by News & Online Editor of the Fresh Produce Journal, Martyn Fisher. This was presented to Mark Ryder from Group 33 and Anna Williams from Group 32.

    Chairman of MDS Ltd, Doug Henderson, said: “We are here to celebrate the achievements of all the trainees who have completed two very challenging years with MDS. It’s our hope that the grit and determination required during those years will stay with you all.

    “But perhaps of much greater importance, it’s the qualities of leadership and teamwork that you have developed that will become the characteristics that define your future contribution to our industry.”

    Reflecting on her experience with MDS, 24-year-old Rebecca Stewart from Melrose in Scotland said: “It’s not just through the excellent training towards the post-grad and the practical experience in different companies, but it has definitely developed me as a person.

    “At the beginning I remember thinking, can I actually do this? But concluded that, I might as well give it a go.

    “I’ve not only had a range of invaluable work experiences, but I’ve met a brilliant group of people across the different work places and also within my actual group.”

    MDS Ltd and Harper Adams launched the Postgraduate Certificate in Food and Fresh Produce Management in October 2007, when it was the first course of its kind. The accredited two-year course revolves around four secondments of about six months each, combined with off-the-job learning from external tutors, many of whom are industry experts.

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