The Future of Hort Tech Jobs During COVID-19
It can’t be denied that the COVID-19 pandemic has touched every facet of our lives. Similarly, the virus has impacted the business world in unprecedented ways. This environment directly dictates job search and hiring patterns within the horticulture and hort tech industry.
As we have come to live with COVID-19, it has unveiled a novel landscape in which we do business. To illustrate, digital communications companies and eLearning firms have seen a massive boom in business. Conversely, hospitality and travel businesses have experienced unparalleled losses in 2020.
The volatile fluctuations of the business climate under COVID-19 extend into controlled environment agriculture (CEA) operations as well as their ancillary partners. Of particular importance to M&F Talent is how COVID-19 has influenced business performance, and subsequent hiring activities, of hort tech companies.
What is Hort Tech?
The term hort tech is an abbreviation for horticulture technology. For those that did not know, horticulture technology is the mechanical equipment and computer software that make CEA production possible.
While traditional farms utilize natural elements to grow crops in unison with seasonal cycles, CEA operations produce crops in artificial environments such as greenhouses and vertical farms. In order to create conditions where plants thrive, CEA growers implement a variety of hort tech solutions.
Examples of hort tech include:
- Horticultural lighting
- Environmental controls
- Atmospheric sensors
- Hydroponics systems
- Garden Management software
- HVAC systems
These various technologies are instrumental for growing crops indoors as well as within greenhouses. Moreover, this technology is proving instrumental for crop production during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Global Food Supply Chain and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Perhaps the most illuminating issue that has arisen in the business world due to COVID-19 concerns global supply chains. Because we are a “global society,” different regions of the world depend on one another for the exchange of goods and services – including food supplies.
Take, for example, an avocado grown in Mexico that is sold in the United States. In order for this avocado to be sold at a U.S. grocery store, it must travel through a number of links on the global food supply chain. These parties include farmers, pickers, packers, shippers, movers, stockers, and sellers – to name a few. Not to mention, those who work for less tangible entities such as U.S. customers and the USDA.
When a single “link” in the global food supply chain is broken – as seen at times during the COVID-19 pandemic – our current subsistence patterns are threatened. As such, COVID-19 has forced us to reassess how we procure food within the modern world. Importantly, CEA production can help alleviate much of the anxiety surrounding the current situation.
Hyper-localized urban farms can supply fresh produce to cityscapes while cutting out many of the unnecessary “middlemen” seen in the current global food model. As such, many vertical farmers and greenhouse growers are experiencing an unforeseen “boost” in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hort Tech Job Market
As more of the globe turns it’s attention on CEA crop production during COVID-19, hort tech companies are also seeing a rise in business. In a logical chain of events, increased CEA production necessitates more of the hort tech equipment on which these operations hinge. In turn, this newfound growth leads to increased hiring demand on the part of hort tech companies.
M&F Talent has seen a major uptick in hiring activity with clients in the hort tech space during COVID 19. This fact only reinforces the notion that certain business verticals are thriving with the pandemic while others are suffering.
Since June 2020, M&F Talent has engaged in at least 10 new searches for managerial and executive-level candidates in the hort-tech space.
These searches include:
- Director of Sales & Marketing
- International Director of Business Development
- Regional Sales Representative
- Director of North American Business Development
- Business Unit Manager – Vegetable
- Sales Manager
Needless to say, this surge in hiring activity is exciting for Mac & Fulton Talent Partners. In like fashion, it reconfirms our beliefs in the value of CEA production for our overall global food supply.
As a result of the ripples that COVID-19 has caused across the business world, experienced hort tech candidates are in high demand for M&F Talent. If you would like to learn more about hort tech jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic, or perhaps strike up a friendly conversation with an M&F Talent team member, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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