I am a… food development technologist
Rachael Templeton, who graduated with an honours degree in Food, Nutrition and Well-being in 2013, gained really valuable skills whilst on placement with Bakkavor, a leading international manufacturer of freshly prepared foods.
She made such a good impression that she is now beginning a graduate career with the company as a Development Technologist. “It was great having the opportunity to experience several different departments and product categories and working with lots of great people,” says Rachael, 22, who spent her year at two different sites, and two departments: procurement and development.
“I spent six months at the Wingland Foods site, which is a leaf and salad delicatessen factory which supplies Waitrose. I worked in the procurement team visiting leaf suppliers and assessing their compliance to Waitrose primary agricultural policies. I also worked in the commercial team on several projects. I then spent seven months at the Bourne Prepared Produce site, where I worked in the development team and was responsible for developing new fruit salad and stir fry products for Marks & Spencer.”
Rachael was the recipient of an Aspire award by Harper Adams in recognition of her performance whilst on placement.
It was a well-deserved recognition her time at the university, which she looks back on with great affection. “It is an amazing university which provides excellent tuition and facilities alongside an incredible social life. I chose Harper Adams because of its great reputation as being a university which works hard and plays hard, and chose the course because of its great ties with the industry. And the staff are brilliant, they are extremely approachable and helpful.”
Did you know?
- The food and drink manufacturing industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK, with a turnover of £76bn and gross value added of £20.6 bn, accounting for 16% of the total manufacturing sector.
- The industry employs up to 400,000 workers. This represents 15% of the overall manufacturing workforce in the UK.
- The sector is an important trading partner with Europe: exporting over £12bn of food and non-alcoholic drink products a year, 77% of which go the EU.
- The industry is a key partner for British farmers: buying two thirds of all the UK's agricultural produce. All this economic activity is carried out by over 6,500 food and drink enterprises – many of which are small companies employing less than 10 people.
- The sector invests over £1bn in to R&D resulting in over 8,500 new products in 2011.
- Production in the sector has been the most resilient and stable of all manufacturing industries throughout the recession with the industry consistently producing at levels higher than the manufacturing average.
- The industry has increased the productivity of its labour force over the last 10 years by 12% leaving food and drink workers in the UK nearly 50% more productive than the EU average.
Information from the Food and Drink Federation. For more stats, facts and information on working in the UK’s largest industrial employment sector visit www.fdf.org.uk