KisanHub, the agri-tech software business, has brought in a well-respected fresh produce manager as its new head of sales, marrying agricultural experience with cutting edge software.
Alistair Winter, who has spent two decades in the fresh produce industry and comes from a farming background in Lincolnshire, wants to help improve efficiencies and profitability in the entire supply chain from farm to end customer.
“Creating sustainable returns for everyone in the supply chain is what drives me,” he says. “I can see that this technology can improve the way time is spent, removing a lot of paperwork and enabling different systems to talk to each other.
“The industry has been very paper-focussed in the past but with ever increasing inflationary pressures and tight margins, making the best use of time and effort will save money.”
Alistair has spent the past 15 years at Burgess Farms, working across procurement and sales, managing relationships and agreements with retailers, processors and growers.
Joined-up supply chain
“We supplied retailers and processors with carrots, parsnips and beetroot 52 weeks a year and my role was to work with the team to ensure we were joined up delivering consistent, reliable supply from growers through the packhouse and onto end customers and consumers.”
And that’s exactly what KisanHub software sets out to do, giving whole teams access to the same information in real-time, including collecting crop quality data, in-field and store monitoring and paperless load passports.
“There’s so much data available but a lot of it could be presented and used better,” says Alistair. “For farmers, there is no average year any more, so having really accurate, detailed information will give increased opportunities to make them more profitable.”
However, there is no one-size-fits-all, and Alistair is looking forward to genuinely understanding individual farmers’ and processors’ needs.
“It’s really important to understand what their pressures are so that any decisions are made for the right reasons – I’m not here to sell to someone who doesn’t need the product.
“The aim is to help businesses to be more successful based on their wants and needs. I’m here to build business based on what customers really would like and need.”
A graduate of Harper Adams University, Alistair remains true to his farming roots and makes the most of outdoor activities with his wife and two children. “Our family love the outdoors, so there’s always something on the go.”
He joined the KisanHub team in mid-April after CEO Giles Barker created the new role. “I met Giles in November and had a very open conversation about what we were both looking for.
“After 15 years at Burgess Farms, I wanted to make a meaningful change and be part of a team that creates more efficient, sustainable and resilient agri-food supply chains.
“I’ve seen how our customers have embraced data and software to become more empowered and profitable businesses so I’m passionate about seeing this across the whole sector to future-proof it for future generations,” he says.
Giles explains: “It became clear we needed someone to lead the commercial side of our company, someone with drive, plus knowledge and experience in this brilliant, complex industry.
“I’ve known Alistair professionally for some time and we are thrilled for him to join our dedicated team, committed to the future and more sustainable supply chains.”
Alistair adds: “The KisanHub team is really engaging; everyone is very collaborative which makes for a great working culture. I’m really excited about getting new clients on board and genuinely making a difference both for KisanHub and the wider sector.”