developing and inspiring our people

People - Illovo sugar

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People - Grad girl in china

Silvia Fernandez-Lara

Betalia Business Development Manager


The Faces of AB Sugar
Silvia Fernandez-Lara Betalia Business Development Manager Azucarera

Silvia has been working at Azucarera for nine years, initially joining the agriculture team. After spending time working in both the factory and field in both the Spain and the UK; she has now crossed over to the commercial team and is working for Betalia, one of Azucarera’s co-product brands. She comments:

Growing personally and professionally

“The fact that there are no two weeks where my work is the same is something I really enjoy and value. During my time with Azucarera I’ve been lucky enough to experience a number of roles; and this career journey has developed my technical skills, provided me with a unique understanding of the beet sugar industry and insight into the relationship between customers and the business as a whole. I’ve been involved directly in previous roles in managing negotiations between our growers and farmers and area managers, provided me with valuable insight into the agricultural market and developed my understanding of team management.”

“Take advantage of building networks across multiple locations, they’re valuable in helping you move forward throughout your career.”

“My previous roles in agriculture gave me an amazing experience in developing valuable networks both inside and outside the business. As such I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of teams in a range of settings but have always been surrounded by professional, committed and enthusiastic people who continue to inspire me every day. Through building a strong network, I was able to make the crossover from agriculture to commercial a fluid next step on my career journey.”

Facing new challenges

“Day to day, I am constantly interacting with colleagues within our commercial team at Betalia and from Azucarera, as well as a variety of clients. During the beet campaign, I have to be aware of co-product production estimations ensuring that we can cover the needs of our customers; and that we are communicating with them in the most efficient way. I also spend time with the IT department ensuring we are using the best technological tools to undertake our work, as well as supporting the product development team, participating in regular creative meetings which always challenge me to think differently.”

“I believe that each role and experience I have had in my career has offered skills and opportunities that has enabled me to progress, and as a result I have made the most of every opportunity that has come my way. Now looking to the future, I hope to develop a deeper and broader knowledge of the sugar sector and its co-products, acquiring new responsibilities and facing challenges whilst working to develop the business and Betalia brand.”

My advice for those starting out:
“Take advantage of every opportunity that is offered to you and always come to work with maximum enthusiasm. Try to work alongside and surround yourself with colleagues who inspire you with the hope that one day you can be one of them and help to inspire the next generation.”

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