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Me & My Job: Stephen Fry, hydroponics specialist, HydroGarden

Grow, 17 April 2015

Stephen Fry, hydroponics specialist, HydroGarden - image: HydroGarden
Stephen Fry, hydroponics specialist, HydroGarden - image: HydroGarden

How did you get started in the industry?

Having studied at Harpers Adams University, specialising in dairy only to graduate the year milk quotas came in, I needed to retrain and went on to study horticulture at Brooksby College. I then worked as trials ground manager for Nutting & Sons and was promoted to vegetable product manager to support the sales team, breeders and customers. I then progressed to sales manager at APAC Rowena in 1993 and sales director in 2000. I joined HydroGarden’s commercial team in September 2009.

What advice would you give to others starting out?

Look to the future and embrace change. There are many exciting opportunities.

What does your typical day involve?

I like to be on the road by 7am or at my desk by 8am to prepare quotes, deal with enquiries and close deals by lunchtime. This frees my afternoons to be more creative, looking at new products, systems and ways to solve problems.

What has been your biggest achievement at work?

Being part of the team alongside Soladome, Paignton Zoo, Suttons Seeds and Horiticolous Landscape awarded a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2013 with the first aquaponic system (FishPlant) exhibited there.

What are your plans for the business?

With the prospect of our planet’s population growing from seven billion to nine billion by 2050 and increasing pressures on food production worldwide, we need to develop systems to grow food in the peri-urban areas of the world. Using fully controlled hydroponic environments with state-of-the-art LEDs and vertical-growing technology, I believe that HydroGarden’s Project Urban Grow can help to achieve food production in areas next to large populations and reduce the need to transport fresh produce halfway around the world.

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