Day in the life of a food industry professional

Trevor Carlin - Technical Development Manager, Hovis

I trained at college in City & Guilds Bread, Confectionery and Cake Decorating and then took on an apprenticeship. This was a great way to get hands on experience. I would definitely recommend taking on work experience or getting an internship to get more of hands on experience and see the industry first hand.

My job is really varied and changes every day but i generally take over once a recipe is developed in the test bakery and needs to trialling in the bakery. Following on from creating a new recipe in our test bakery, I take the recipe onto plant and run trials with the site team. This moves from 4 kg of flour, up to between 150 kg & 200kg. Amendments are made to cope with an automated process that affect the proving and baking of the product.. All trials from 1 mix (350 loaves) up to 10 mixes (3500 loaves) are assessed on all consumer attributes and shelf life and then taken to launch. My job is really varied and hands on, working in the food industry you don’t have to be sat behind a desk or doing the same job every day which i love! My top tip is to get experience in the industry to see what you like and enjoy.

Richard Phipps - Factory Manager, Wright’s Bakery Ingredients

I started in the food industry straight out of school around 18 years ago. I worked in a chicken factory in my local village as a production operative and my daily task involved cleaning and rehanging birds on the line. Since then I have progressed through the ranks into various roles in the food industry. I have been a Team leader, Department Manager, Planner, Supply Chain Manager and now I’m the Factory Manager here at Wrights Bakery Ingredients.

As Factory Manager, my day starts at around 07:30. I have a brief catch-up with my team and discuss any issues that have arisen so far and check the orders for that day. I read the handovers from the previous shifts and make notes of any questions I feel need to be answered at the daily morning meeting. At 09:00, the daily meeting starts. We have representatives from each department; Production, Planning, Technical, Commercial and NPD. Each get an opportunity to update on any issues they have or on current projects. We then have a 09:30 conference call with our other sites to discuss stock levels, outstanding orders and flour delivery schedules. The rest of the day is spent on projects and admin tasks. The best part of my day is getting out into the factory speaking to the staff. The best ideas we have in food generally come from the team that actually do the work and are a valuable resource.

If I had any advice for somebody coming into the industry, it would be to never say no to any job. Even if it doesn’t look glamorous on the outside, it will yield valuable experience and give you the best attitude going forward in your career. Remember that any job in the food industry, from Cleaner to Managing Director, is valuable and plays an important part in the operation.