Oliver Franzen, a new Member of the Guild, was thrown in at the deep end when he made the transition from the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and Norwich Evening News, to agricultural purchasing group, Anglia Farmers (AF).
“I was new to agriculture when I joined AF as marketing and communications executive,” he says. “But I now write for more than six agricultural members’ publications – and I’m really enjoying the industry.”
Oliver holds a Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Cambridge College of Marketing, as well as a BSc Hons in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia.
“I worked in marketing for the EDP and Norwich Evening News for eight years, running everything from newspaper promotions to business awards,” he explains. “In my free time I had some fabulous roles as a freelance journalist, which amongst other things, took me to lots of exotic places around the world as a travel writer and some great watering holes closer to home as a pub columnist!”
For the past seven years, Oliver has also presented a weekly radio show for Norwich-based broadcaster, Future Radio. As for his role at AF, he says it provides a welcome opportunity to combine his marketing experience with a love of writing.
“AF was expanding its marketing department, and needed someone who had marketing experience but could also write for a range of agricultural publications targeted at its 3,000 farmer members – so the opportunity was too good to miss,” he explains. “Making the transition into farming has been a fast learning curve but I’ve really enjoyed it.
“I write about all aspects of farming, from machinery to livestock and fuel markets to building projects, for a monthly glossy magazine and a weekly eNews, as well as smaller publications for AF’s partner organisations, including First Milk and the National Fallen Stock Company,” Oliver adds. “My favourite part of the role is getting out on farm and profiling AF members because there’s always a story to tell and something new to learn.”
AF is a fast-growing, dynamic organisation, he adds: “Turnover has increased from £170 million to £250 million in the short time I’ve been with them and it’s great to be a part of the business.”
Oliver spends most of his free time afloat on the Norfolk Broads, racing his family’s 100-year old Broads Sailing Cruiser, Martlet, as well as a Laser sailing dinghy. He is also a keen canoeist, fisherman, hill walker and a real ale and whisky enthusiast.
Note: Contact details for all new Members and Friends of the Guild can be found by using the website search facility to locate records in the eAlert Archive.