Friday 5 February 2021Meet the Duynie Team - Lewis
It takes the right co-products to make the best livestock feed, which is why sourcing and supplier relationships are central to Duynie’s operation. Lewis Knagg, Assistant Procurement Manager, gives us a peek at what goes on in the procurement team.
Let’s nail the basics – when did you join Duynie and what does your job involve?
‘I started at Duynie on 11th March 2019. In procurement, there’s a variety of different tasks to juggle daily. Mainly it involves speaking with various food and drink manufacturers to establish what co-products they have and how they manage the co-product process. I also work with our existing suppliers, buying product from them at a price that reflects the current market.’
Is it fun working in procurement?
‘I really enjoy how no two days are the same. The industry we’re in can change from one minute to the next, so there’s always something new to learn. And because agriculture is influenced by lots of factors, you have to be open minded and agile with your thinking.’
Are there any tasks you especially look forward to?
‘My favourite thing is visiting manufacturing sites to take a look behind the scenes. It’s fascinating seeing and learning first hand how different producers make their main product and how their co-products come about. For instance, when you buy beer, you might not appreciate how much has gone into making it. The cycle starts with the farmer – who grows the barley used for brewing – then at the end of the process, the spent grains are transformed into feed and delivered back to farmers to nourish their livestock. It’s gratifying seeing the co-product coming out at the end of the process and knowing we can use it rather than letting it go to waste.’
What path led you to your current role?
‘Quite honestly, it’s not an industry I thought I’d be involved in as I mainly have a background in banking. What made me really interested in the role was how the business connects co-products and farming. This creates a circular economy – something I never knew about before joining Duynie.’
What are the biggest challenges of your position?
‘At the moment its probably the same for everyone, but I’d have to say Covid-19 is the biggest practical challenge. Building personal relationships is important for the procurement team and the virus has curbed our ability to go and visit suppliers in person. Instead, meetings are all done via video calls which takes a bit of getting used to.’
When it comes to working with a new supplier, how do you open the conversation?
‘When speaking to a supplier, there isn’t a checklist or script that we follow. Its just a very open and honest conversation to understand how they operate, if they produce co-products that we can use as feed and if there’s a service we can offer that’s viable for all parties.’
You’re not at work all the time – what do you do with your down time?
‘Outside of work I enjoy just spending time with my family. I have a nine-month-old son who makes sure I don’t sit down for too long. I also enjoy playing football, which I look forward to getting back into – hopefully sooner rather than later!’