24-carrot student

Published Tuesday, 28th May 2019 in Study at SRUC news

Olivia Khan Wonky Produce Winner
Olivia Khan (on right) Wonky Produce Winner

An Ayr-based student has been given a personal factory tour after winning a ‘wonky produce’ competition.

Olivia Khan, 23, a fourth-year Rural Business Management student at Scotland’s Rural College, was tasked with creating a marketing plan for wonky vegetables and fruit that don’t make Class 1 standards and can be difficult to sell. 

She came up with a cut-price range of soups and other simple meals packed with fresh vegetables.

The competition, which was open to students at each of SRUC’s six campuses, was funded from the college’s University Innovation Fund programme.

Olivia Khan with Kettle Produce procurement manager Mike Munro

Olivia Khan with Kettle Produce procurement manager Mike Munro

Olivia won £700 and the opportunity to take part in an ‘insider day’ at Kettle Produce’s headquarters in Cupar, after winning in three categories: best market research, best presented entry and best use of digital technology.

The visit included a presentation about the history of the business, where their customers are based and how they react to trends. 

Olivia also got to see the new product development team testing out recipes and combinations for snack boxes; samples from each batch going through quality assurance; carrots coming in from a local field and going through a washing and sorting process; and  the process of baby carrots being made from polished chopped-up large carrots.

Lecturer Caroline Whitfield, who mentored the Ayr students ahead of the competition, said: “Engaging imaginatively to create new solutions to the pressing issues in today’s food chain is exactly the sort of approach we encourage our Rural Business Management students at SRUC to adopt. We are all very proud of Olivia and wish her the best of success in the future.”

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