In Conversation with Simon Waring, Founder and Managing Director of Green Seed UK

This week, I’m excited to revisit an inspiring conversation with Simon Waring, Founder and Managing Director of Green Seed UK, on the Eat, Drink Profit Podcast. Simon is an international specialist in strategy and market entry, with extensive experience in the food and drink sector. Simon’s insights have always been invaluable, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about his career in the food industry and this advice for aspiring food industry entrepreneurs.


Life as Founder and Managing Director

Simon’s primary focus is helping food businesses understand their unique value and grow both in the UK and internationally. The process involves assessing businesses’ readiness for expansion and assisting them in unlocking their potential. It’s like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle to achieve success.

With the diversity and excitement his role brings, he describes his work as the best job in the world. Simon’s work in the food industry has allowed him to travel extensively across Europe, North America, and Asia, and this international aspect has always been a dream come true for him.


Simon’s Path to the Food Industry

Simon’s journey into the food industry wasn’t planned. His first job was as a shelf stacker at Sainsbury’s, which didn’t initially inspire a passion for food. However, his love for languages and a desire for an international career led him to study languages at university and spend time abroad.

His career began at Mintel, a market analysis company, where he gained exposure to various industries, including food. This experience sparked his interest in food marketing and branding. 

Simon’s big break came when he joined the British Food Export Council as a marketing manager, eventually leading to his role as International MD at Food from Britain. This role solidified his place in the food industry and allowed him to work with numerous UK-based food companies expanding internationally.


Influences and Inspiration

One of Simon’s most significant influences was Sir Paul Judge, the chairman of Food from Britain when Simon joined. Sir Paul, a successful food industry entrepreneur, showed Simon that the food industry could be highly professional and inspiring. Simon was given a lot of responsibility early in his career, which shaped his professional journey.

Simon finds the food industry to be a warm and collaborative place. He enjoys exchanging ideas at trade exhibitions and industry group meetings, and this collaborative spirit extends across different markets, making it a joy to work in this field.


Admiring Innovation in the Industry

Simon admires businesses that innovate and take on new challenges. He explores Ocado as an example, a company initially laughed at by analysts but later proved to be highly successful, even surpassing Tesco’s market capitalisation at one point. 

Simon finds excitement in the constant change and challenges within the food industry, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated many trends and changes.


Embracing Change and Stepping Out of Comfort Zones

Simon believes stepping out of one’s comfort zone is essential for growth and success. Running his own business has taught him the unpredictability of the industry, but experience has shown him that there is always a way forward. He advises those starting in the industry to take their time, network extensively, and understand the concerns of all stakeholders before diving in.


Advice for Aspiring Food Industry Entrepreneurs

For those looking to start a business in the food industry, Simon emphasises the importance of taking time to build strong foundations and understanding the market thoroughly. He advises against rushing into international expansion without solid domestic success.


Summing Up Simon

If Simon were to sum himself up in three words, they would be hungry, curious, and international. He is always eager to learn, experiment with new things, and explore international markets.

Simon Waring’s journey in the food industry is a testament to the power of passion, curiosity, and the willingness to embrace change. His insights and experiences offer valuable lessons for anyone looking to make their mark in this dynamic field.

If you’d like to listen to my conversation with Simon, just click the link to the Eat, Drink, Profit Podcast.

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