Mathew Roberts works as an Export Manager for Nutrano Produce Group and is based in Melbourne.
His job requires him to assist in exporting Australian citrus to international buyers or consumers.
Mathew said he didn’t set out to become an Export Manager when he left school, in fact he didn’t even know the job existed.
“I was working in the Melbourne Market part time to help a neighbour out while I was studying IT.
“The company I was working for were selling broccoli to the Middle East and I just couldn’t believe we sent fresh produce to the other side of the world,” Mathew said.
Mathew left his IT course after two years studying and started working full time in fruit and vegetables in 1999.
Twenty-two years later Mathew said he wouldn’t consider doing anything else.
Mathew said you get the best of both worlds in his job where you get a good work-life balance and it isn’t just a nine to five job.
“The opportunity to visit new places locally and abroad can be a welcomed contrast to sitting down at a desk all day.”
Visiting Australian farms is also a highlight of his work, although he admits he doesn’t know a lot about farming.
“I love the farmers that you meet have got this real connection to the land where they really understand what the trees are doing to provide the best quality fruit for our customers.
“Covid-19 times has made it challenging to get out there and see our growers and customers around the world.
“I’ve relied heavily on technology and virtual meetings to connect with our export customers including ‘virtual farm tours’ and online conferences with key industry bodies, trade partners and export customers,” Mathew said.
For young career seekers or anyone interested in pursuing a career in the same field, Mathew said there’s a lot of opportunity in Australia with international trade.
“The agriculture industry is more than just what happens on farm.
“The scope of career prospects in Nutrano alone is quite broad from hands on farming team to packing shed operations through to sales and admin team as well as finance and IT.
“It has been a refreshing change working in Nutrano and having market access to so many countries at your disposal.”
Mathew said there’s never a dull moment and no two days the same.
“A lot of coordinating to ensure our fruit reaches our customers working closely with our farm teams, freight forwarders and entire supply chain.
“Then there’s research on global markets and their protocols as well as best way to market our brands and fruit to the world.
Mathew said there is always going to be a need for our products and Australian grown produce.
“It is rewarding when you see how much customers on the other side of the world loves our Australian-grown citrus.
“You get real sense of satisfaction out of everything that you do in this job.”