My Agricultural Trainee Program
Francois, Saint-Louis Sucre
When I applied to become an International Raw Material Trainee within the Südzucker Group, I was looking for a job that would be concrete, dynamic, diversified, with social interactions, and where I could keep developing my knowledge. I found all of that and even more being Südzucker trainee at Saint-Louis Sucre! You will find a sample of projects and activities I have been involved in and that demonstrate it in the few lines below.
Mont Blanc Project
From the beginning of my trainee program, I got the chance of actively take part to the Mont Blanc Project at Saint-Louis Sucre. The Mont Blanc Project was launched in all SZ Group companies and its main purpose is to improve sugar beet cultivation productivity from the field down to the entrance of the beets in the factory. Through an intense team work, lots of activities have been carried out in the framework of that project such as: animation of a workshop with all SLS raw material employees in order to determine the Mont Blanc action lines to be prioritized, organization of training sessions about harvesting, pile covering and sowing, development and implementation of experimental protocols about pile covering and fertilization, creation of different advisory tools and documents, etc. These highly diversified activities allowed me to get in touch with a large amount of people and organisms involved in sugar beet business: growers, agricultural entrepreneurs, French Beet Technical Institute, seed companies and so on.
A part of my activities as trainee consists in data analyses. The way I put it, this can sound quite boring but do not misunderstand; this is very interesting, mind stimulating and challenging. For example, I worked on financial analyses concerning the soil tare agreement, on growers’ revenue analyses and on the identification and cartography of the beet production areas according to different parameters such as soil tare, sugar content, yields, logistical costs, etc. All those analyses concern hot topics, especially in preparation for the 2017 sugar regime reforms.
Stays abroad in all European SZ Group sugar companies
As trainee, I spend several months in all the European SZ Group sugar companies in Belgium (Raffinerie Tirlemontoise), Poland (Südzucker Polska), Germany (Südzucker AG) and Austria (Agrana). These stays abroad were of high value. I had the opportunity, among other things, to know from the inside and to compare the structure and functioning rules of the different raw material units and departments I visited; to discover, share experiences, follow and help lots of colleagues in their daily activities sometimes creating strong relationships and even to learn a little bit of German.
I cannot talk about the training program without mentioning the different sugar beet production related training modules I had the chance to take part to with all the trainees from the different countries. We had modules organized by the different SZ Group companies about Logisitc and by-products (in Belgium), Beet production and trials (in France), Planning and payment systems (in Germany). In Poland, we had the opportunity to be present at Beet Europe, an international meeting of companies and farmers involved in the sugar industry and sugar beet cultivation with focus on machinery operation demonstrations. All trainees also took part to a two-week module called "Agribusiness Sugar Beet", an advanced education for graduate students and junior employees of the sugar supply chain organized by the Institut für Zuckerrübenforschung in Göttingen, Germany. During those modules, on top of learning a lot and sharing with professionals working for other sugar production related companies, maybe the most important is that we built what I would like to call the "Südzucker Raw Material Trainee Family".
To conclude, be aware that what you read above is just a part of what you will have the occasion to do and live as a Südzucker Raw Material Trainee. And that, if you want to participate actively to the development of the company and be part of its future, this is just up to you to seize that opportunity!