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Sustainable Futures with Alaska Seafood part four: Victoria Cook, senior buyer, M&J Seafood

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Written by:
Sustainable Futures with Alaska Seafood part four: Victoria Cook, senior buyer, M&J Seafood

For Alaska Seafood, sustainability doesn’t just relate to fish. It’s about creating a sustainable workforce, attracting new talent and promoting the industry as a great place to work.  Over the next four months, Alaska Seafood will be unearthing the future stars of the hospitality industry. In part four, we meet senior buyer at M&J Seafood Victoria Cook

What is your job and what does the role entail?
I am a senior buyer for M&J Seafood (part of the Sysco family). It’s a high-pressured role, but it can be extremely rewarding – I love the feeling you get when you’ve resolved challenges or completed a difficult negotiation.

In one day you can go from buying fresh fish from various countries in the morning to visiting local fish farms in the afternoon. The ability to adapt is key within this kind of role.

How did you get involved in this industry?
I applied for an administration role and immediately fell in love with the industry. There’s so much to appreciate about the true value of the piece of fish featuring in your meal.

What do you love about it?
The unpredictability of each day, and the opportunity to continue to learn new things. No matter how long I am in this industry, there will always be a new challenge.

What do you find challenging?
Meeting all the demands of a unique customer base that any other buying role wouldn’t necessarily encounter. For instance, we have more than 10 operating sites across UK; we have other internal stakeholders (commercial, technical, marketing) and we have to present to the actual end-customer. These all influence purchasing decisions and cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Adaptability is key in this environment and sometimes that can be from one meeting to another.

Who was your biggest icon growing up that inspired this career choice?
I didn’t really have an icon who drew me into the seafood industry, but my biggest icon growing up was my mum. She taught me so much about work
and family ethics – that really does underpin my continued drive and determination.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Sharing the love for fish with the future generations – we need to start thinking
about and building our future industry.

What advice would you give to those trying to break into this industry?
Work hard, and when you think you have worked your hardest, dig deeper. There will be highs and there will be lows, but you will growing up was my mum. She taught me so much about work and family ethics – that really does underpin my continued drive and determination.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Sharing the love for fish with the future generations – we need to start thinking about and building our future industry.

What advice would you give to those trying to break into this industry?
Work hard, and when you think you have worked your hardest, dig deeper. There will be highs and there will be lows, but you will make it; remain focused
and keep the belief.

To find out more, head to www.alaskaforeverwild.com

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