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Fera are The Food & Environment Research Agency, the national centre of excellence for interdisciplinary investigation and problem solving across plant and bee health, crop protection, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, food and feed quality and chemical safety in the environment.

Fera Science's origins in delivering world-class science began over 100 years ago as the Institute for Plant Pathology services. True to their heritage we are proud that their continued successes helps to address some of today’s biggest challenges, including coping with the impact of global population growth and the need to make efficient sustainable use of natural resources. Their innovations form the basis for sustainable and profitable business activity and are key to achieving leadership positions in all of their core markets.

Fera Science Limited was formed as a new entity in 2015, following a joint venture between DEFRA and global outsourcing specialists Capita. With a large team of nearly 500 colleagues comprised of world leading scientific experts in their field, the JV has seen the organisation galvanise behind a collective mission to achieve solutions around some of the most challenging environmental issues including food security, climate change and biodiversity loss, whilst simultaneously commercialising and increasing revenues significantly.

The Requirement

In the Autumn of 2022, Sherrington Associates were contacted by Fera’s HR team and COO having been recommended by their Growth Director Wendy Martindale, for whom Sherrington’s team had successfully recruited for across two previous companies (ALcontrol Laboratories and ALS).

Fera were looking to appoint a new executive search partner to support with a number of forthcoming requirements across their business development, bids and technical teams. Whilst not at executive level, these roles required candidates with very specific skills and experience and as a headhunting approach was deemed the best approach for acquiring talent, Fera needed a search partner with a strong research capability to map the life sciences market and attract high-calibre candidates.


Over the months that followed, Sherrington’s team carried out research to support several search mandates including several sales positions and other key roles in Fera’s bids management team.

Supporting talent acquisition across multiple teams, our researchers identified candidates within agronomy, food testing, food safety and crop health. Within a short timeframe three key hires were appointed in crucial sales and bids roles, enabling Fera’s growth plans by acquiring talent with valuable experience of new and existing markets. As the partnership continues, Sherrington look to support Fera’s need to recruit senior technical personnel and leading scientists.

“Working with Fera has been a pleasure. It gives our team great pride to know we’re supporting their amazing work ensuring food security in the United Kingdom. We hope to support Fera's work for years to come."

Joe Onions – Consultant, Sherrington Associates
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Pictured above: Fera's cutting edge scientific facility in York

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