Ben Druitt, Senior Ruminant Specialist

15-2-2021

Department: Sales

Three generations

“I grew up on my family’s farm in the South West of England and I have always had a keen interest in livestock and farming. You might say being a feed advisor is in my blood as my grandfather worked for BOCM Silcock, my father worked at Pauls, then BOCM PAULS and is now an agent ForFarmers. Collectively my father has built up 42 years of service with the company and I feel really lucky that his and my grandfather’s passion and knowledge has been passed down to me.”

Where it began

“I joined ForFarmers in October 2015 as a Trainee Account Manager. I spent the first few months rotating across different departments including Customer Services, Operations and Blends. I learnt their responsibilities, areas of expertise and built up rapport with key members of the team. During this time I also completed the ForFarmers Ruminant Academy course.”

“ForFarmers has Account Managers across the whole of UK but my neck of the woods is Devon and Somerset. I work within the Exeter sales team where there are 12 sales specialists in total, this includes Account Managers, Dairy, Youngstock and Forage specialists. As a team we collaborate and use each other’s knowledge so that we are able to offer the best solutions and support to our customers.”

Ben Druitt

Feed mills

“In the UK ForFarmers has sixteen sites which produce a wide range of compound feeds and blends suitable for ruminant and monogastric animals. In the South West we have two feed mills; Exeter and Portbury.”

“Exeter has recently undergone a £10 million redevelopment. The aim was to improve the productivity, quality and the efficiency of the mill. The significant investment and restructuring process has increased the mill’s output capacity from 140,000 to 300,000 tonnes of animal feed a year. The redevelopment of Exeter was an exciting step and has had a positive impact for our customers across the region.”

Out on the road

“I begin my day by feeding my stock on the family farm. I then head back inside and open my laptop with a cup of hot coffee to complete the daily admin which includes checking my emails and placing orders for customers."

"I then check my diary to see which farms I plan to visit that week and organise any literature or quotes that I need to take with me."

"Out on farm I utilise ForFarmers services including costings and the Toolbox to advise existing customers on our wide range of products and also visit prospective new customers which often requires a different sales approach. I always try to visit the furthest farm first and work my way back towards home.”

Ben Druit ForFarmers Account Manager, Devon

Adapting to working at home

 “Like many other jobs I have had to adapt my role due to the Coronavirus pandemic. My usual day would consist of travelling to multiple farms, customers and prospective clients whilst racking up the miles. I now find myself mainly office based communicating with customers and colleagues via phone calls, skype meetings and emails. “

“This last year has been rather unusual, however I have looked at it as an opportunity. Whilst providing advice to customers on the phone I have been able to discuss a more diverse range of products that we offer such as fertilisers and traded commodities as well as feed. This has allowed me to utilise the total feed portfolio that ForFarmers provides.” 

“It hasn’t always been smooth running, relying on technology, WIFI, keeping motivated and finding new innovative ways to sell our products to prospective customers, plus trying not to eat your quota of biscuits for the day with your first cup of coffee! I am thankful to the Exeter team for always being at the end of the phone for support and encouragement when needed.”

“I have been fortunate that my customers have been great during this pandemic. We have found alternative ways to overcome challenges together. For example some customers have taken their own silage samples and posted them so that they can be analysed. The advancement of mobile phones and better signal in rural areas has also really helped. I’ve even FaceTimed customers to look at dung samples or to monitor the condition of their livestock.”

“Our drivers have continued to deliver feed across the country and they have been adhering to protocols and distancing rules so that everyone on the farm stays safe.”

Progression

“After two years of growing and developing a customer base, I was promoted to an Account Manager in 2017. Over the years I have enjoyed seeing different farms and setups, there’s always something new to learn. ForFarmers has continued to train and develop my skills and more recently in 2019 I was promoted to a Senior Account Manager.”

The total feed business

“I really enjoy supporting and advising my customers whilst learning how different farms operate. In particular I thrive on selling products that complete the farming circle. From seeds in the ground, to the fertilisers that help them grow, to cutting and storing silage, to balancing the ration using the ForFarmers toolbox to seeing the end results and output. Together we really are producing the highest quality British produce.”

“I am proud to be part of the ForFarmers team and I’m grateful for all of the opportunities that have been given to me. I look forward to further developing my career with ForFarmers.”