Globetrotter: Sam Simister

The head of fruit at Innocent Drinks spends most of her time in Central America tasting the finest bananas, pineapples and limes.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Where do you travel?

I'm accountable for everything that goes in our smoothies and juices, so I'll often fly to Europe or Central America, where most of our fruit comes from. I go to Spain for strawberries and Germany for apples and Central America for banana and pineapple. We also buy a fantastic squeezed lime from Honduras.

What do you do after landing?

I usually travel with our chief blender and another buyer. We're met by our suppliers and if we're in a big country such as Brazil then we have a long drive to see where the fruit is grown. I used to travel once a month. Now it's less frequently, although I'll go for about 12 days and travel round a few countries in Central America.

What do you do on the journey?

I'll drink lots of water and try to get some sleep. I'll catch up on business reading, although I also find time to watch a film.

Most memorable trip?

Discovering our Honduras limes two years ago. They're grown in a family-run farm where all the men are called Julio. It's in the most beautiful setting, surrounded by a lake and lime orchards. They squeeze the limes, which then get chilled and shipped to the UK.

Favourite destination?

I lived in New York for seven years, and it's like my second home. Argentina is also very special. The scenery is so diverse - you can find both rainforests and glaciers.

Favourite hotel?

In Brazil there's a plantation house that is several hundred years old. Coffee used to be grown there, now they keep horses. It's very basic but very peaceful. I do ride, although I don't always get time to.

Worst travel experience?

In India about three years ago, I was being driven in the middle of three lanes of traffic in a single-lane space. Next to us was a man driving a lorry, sitting on a dining room chair. Then there was a brightly coloured bus with people hanging off it, which was overtaking the lorry that was overtaking us. And coming towards us were six camels. That was quite frightening. Don't drive in India.

How do you manage jet lag?

By drinking coffee or Earl Grey tea. I constantly tell myself it's all in the mind. If I really need to, I'll sleep for two hours and that will keep me going for another 12.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...

Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

What I learned leading a Syrian bank through a civil war

Louai Al Roumani was CFO of Syria's largest private retail bank when the conflict broke...

Martin Sorrell: “There’s something about the unfairness of it that drives me”

EXCLUSIVE: The agency juggernaut on bouncing back, what he would do with WPP and why...

The 10 values that will matter most after COVID-19

According to a survey of Management Today readers.