New recruits get ready for summer season at Branston

FROM left Wojciech Matusiak, Katie White, Lloyd Price, Ingrida Neicu, Stephen Brown and Ben Mitchell

POTATO company Branston has made a number of senior appointments and internal promotions at its Ilminster site, as it gears up for summertime growth.

So far this year, seven new people have joined the Ilminster team and there’s been a senior promotion too, as the site gets ready for its busiest time of year.

Branston’s Somerset site packs potatoes all year round, but in the summer production really goes into overdrive.

It’s a packing hub for new and salad potatoes from growers across the South West of the country.

The first of these is Cornish new potatoes in early June – the first UK mainland new potatoes to be ready each year. Ben Mitchell, who has more than 25 years of experience as a grower has been promoted to senior agronomist at Branston and will play a major role in liaising with farmers across the South West to manage the production of new and salad potatoes and get them on to the supermarket shelves as quickly as possible.

He said: “It’s my job to work closely with the growers and ensure that the potatoes we supply are of the best quality and consistency.

“Having been a grower myself, I understand the way that our growers work and was keen to work with Branston because of their great reputation and the opportunities here.”

Katie White joins the business as health, safety and environment officer and has previous experience working within waste management.

She said: “I was attracted to Branston because of its strong environmental standards and high regard for health and safety for staff – the company genuinely cares about the wellbeing of team members.”

In addition to Ben’s promotion and Katie’s recent appointment, Branston has also hired Steve Brown as procurement co-ordinator, Monica Butynska and Ingrida Neicu as quality assurance operatives, and Wojciech Matusiak and Stefan Tarapacki as pallet barrow drivers. In its commitment to growing talent, the potato supplier has also appointed maintenance apprentice Lloyd Price, who is training to become a mechanical maintenance engineer. In his day-to-day role Lloyd will be based on the factory floor, ensuring any breakdowns are fixed quickly and efficiently.

“I’m really looking forward to developing my career at Branston,” said Lloyd.

“The training opportunities are great and I hope to progress through the ranks.”

Branston is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of potatoes, as well as providing seed for potato growers it has sites in Somerset, Lincolnshire and Perth.

There are a number of vacancies available at Branston. For more information visit

Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Chard & Ilminster Reporter | After studying for his NCTJ in Bournemouth, Peter started with the paper in June 2015 on a freelance basis, now permanently based in East Devon covering community and council news.