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Robert Boffey

"Harper Adams provided me with the opportunity to experience life in a working environment at the same time as gaining an internationally recognised qualification."
Rob Boffey Rob Boffey

You could be an… assistant development technologist

“Harper Adams provided me with the opportunity to experience life in a working environment at the same time as gaining an internationally recognised qualification”

Food and Consumer studies student Robert Boffey graduated in September 2013. Following a successful placement year with APS Salads Limited, the 22-year-old from Cheshire is now an Assistant Development Technologist after being headhunted by Adams Food Ingredients Limited, based in Staffordshire.

How did your course prepare you for the workplace?

It has provided me with the tools and practical experience that I can use within the workplace. The course provided me with a detailed understanding of the food industry, its place in society and relationship to consumers, whilst exploring the nature of food and its importance to human health. It also gave me theoretical tools which I can take into industry to enhance and improve existing technologies for the future.

It has provided me with an in-depth analysis of the plough to plate principles required to provide food to feed the global population.

Was the placement year important when choosing where to study?

Yes, as it provides the opportunity to gain experience in the industry sector of your choice with roles to suit students’ needs. Placement is great for your career opportunities because it provides life experiences.

How did you get your job?

I was approached by GPRS Recruitment on behalf of the managing director of Adams Food Ingredients Limited who had a position to which he thought I would be suitable. I had a formal face-to-face interview lasting 45 minutes followed by a second interview a week later which was a skills based assessment.

What sort of things do you do?

“As a technical assistant in the innovations department, I am responsible for assisting and supporting the team in the development trials for the international dairy products sector within the food manufacturing industry. I am responsible for preparing and dispatching customer samples, maintaining cleanliness and order within the NPD kitchen, obtaining and logging raw material samples and participating in factory scale up trials. I also provide support for in-house presentations to customers and visitors. It is a practical, hands on role which requires accuracy, attention to detail and excellent organisational skills.”

What other jobs have you done?

Whilst at university I found a part time job with Mr Moyden’s Handmade Cheese Company Ltd, assisting with farmers markets and sales, during their transfer to the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre. The role came about following development work with the West Midlands Regional Food Academy. The role provided an insight into the cheese manufacturing industry and supported my knowledge and experiences at Harper Adams.

I spent my placement at APS Salads Limited, a fresh produce nursery packing and distribution centre, in the role of a quality control technician. The job provided an insight into the scale of the fresh produce industry and the demands of the retail market. My typical day would include calibration of scales and measuring equipment, goods-in product checks, goods-out product checks and in line trouble shooting. The best thing about my placement was that it provided me with the knowledge and understanding of the fresh produce sector in both the retail and food services sectors.


Find out more about jobs and training in the food and drinks industry here:  www.tastesuccess.co.uk

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