This year’s theme asks everyone to ‘seek out and celebrate women's achievements.' Hannah explains below exactly what International Women's Day means to her.
Above: Hannah Turner, Head of Marketing at Classic Fresh Foods
Q. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A: For me it’s all about celebrating women’s achievement in the workplace and especially here at New Covent Garden Market. It’s really hidden from view, but we have so many areas within different businesses that women can join and build a career, particularly if you’re a foodie, ex-chef, or have a strong passion for fresh produce.
We’re now seeing more women than ever before in senior positions within the food industry, especially women chefs. It was amazing to see Clare Smyth become the first and only female chef to run a UK restaurant with three Michelin-stars. She’s opened so many doors and is an incredible chef and an inspiration. She’s living proof to young girls out there that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career path?
A: I’ve been working in the food industry for the past six years in various marketing roles across both the B2B and B2C markets. I’m lucky as food is my passion; I love to eat out and cook at home and fresh produce is at the heart of it all. I’ve always said that doing what you’re passionate about doesn’t really feel like work.
Before joining Classic Fresh Foods I worked at Mash Purveyors, who had a long history supplying fruit and vegetables to London's restaurants. The business went into administration in March last year, and I was extremely fortunate to secure my current role with Classic Fresh Foods soon afterwards. I’ve finally found a company that I love working for, it's diverse, inclusive and very forward thinking. Starting the Classic Veg Box business [delivering high quality produce direct to customers across London and Chelmsford] at the beginning of the first lockdown is a prime example.
Q: What’s it like working at New Covent Garden Market, in what’s perceived to be a very male-dominated workplace?
A: I’m loving being part of the market and I’ve really been welcomed. Yes, there are many men who work on Buyer’s Walk within the Fruit and Vegetable Market, but there are also more women than you expect working across the market in different roles - this is not to say that there isn't room for more women to join though. I’d love to see more women join the market!
Q: Who is your female role model?
A: That’s a difficult question, but I’d have to bring it back to my family and say my Nan. Even though she’s 86 years old, she was working as a keep-fit teacher until she had to stop due to the pandemic. Her work ethic is just so inspiring, and she’s been a wonderful role model to me growing up.
Q: How will you support International Women’s Day’s ‘Choose to Challenge’ theme this year?
A: Change comes from challenge, and my support goes to every woman who challenges issues in the workplace and beyond, whatever they may be. My goal is to encourage more women to join New Covent Garden Market and make a career for themselves here in Nine Elms. Women can offer a different perspective and insight to a business that may otherwise have been overlooked.
Find out more about fruit and vegetable wholesaler Classic Fresh Foods here.