BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Fruit farmer, nr Sudbury, Suffolk

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Fruit farmer, nr Sudbury, Suffolk - Name: Chris Heseltine

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Chris Heseltine

When did you become a manager? In the mid-70s, when I came back from Australia to help out on the family farm because Dad was ill. He got me doing the finances and once you are making the financial decisions it feels like you are managing the business. It was 10 more years before I was really in control.

What does management mean to you? At this time of year it means hiring pickers for the apple harvest. I need as many as 50, all casual labourers - we cultivate 100 acres and the fruit must be picked quickly or it won't store well. I get a lot of pickers from eastern Europe - they are more willing to do manual work than local people nowadays. We also grow plums, pears, strawberries and raspberries, so there's work for most of the summer if they want it.

What do you love/hate about it? I love the lifestyle - working outside, having the freedom to decide what I do and when I do it. I hate the way the industry in this country is shrinking.

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