Edgar Balfour is a member of the DYW Orkney Regional Group Board and is the Orkney Food and Drink and Orkney Crafts Project Manager.
“After eight years in the motor industry and then the agriculture sector, in 1985 I started my career in the food industry. I was initially employed as Depot Manager of Orkney Meat which was at that time had majority control based outwith the islands. After less than a year, in 1986 I became General Manager after a successful local buyout of the business. I spent the next 23 years promoting and selling prime Orkney Beef and Lamb throughout the UK – ultimately under the successful brand ‘Orkney Island Gold’. By the time I left, Orkney Meat Ltd employed over 30 members of staff and had a turnover in excess of £6million per annum.
“In 2008 I left Orkney Meat and had a short period (five years) of employment with the Crown Post Office before applying for, and successfully awarded, the role of Development Officer with Orkney Food & Drink Limited. I have been employed in this, or a similar role, from then to date.”
Why did you become involved with DYW Orkney?
“My interest in DYW Orkney is two-fold. Firstly, on a personal level, whilst with Orkney Meat, I was very aware of the issue of getting young people in Orkney to consider a career in the food sector in a positive way – and tried to change some preconceptions held at that time. Secondly, in my current role I frequently hear from the membership, about difficulties of recruitment within the sector, which sadly shows that perhaps little lasting progress has been made since my time at OML. I would therefore like to help link up my members with the future workforce in these islands in a positive and practical way.”