Careers in Food and Drink Manufacture by etssetcf


Careers in Food and Drink Manufacture

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									                                                                              By Jodie Mickleburgh
  Careers in Food and Drink Manufacture                                        and Leonie Gordon
Working in the food and drink manufacturing industry is not just about working on the production
line in a factory. The industry comprises of many varied and challenging careers encompassing
practical jobs (such as working in a bakery or butcher’s shop) to working in an office based capacity
(such as Marketing and Human Resources). In fact, every job which falls into one of the following
 •    Bakery
 •    Brewery
 •    Dairy
 •    Distillery
 •    Drinks Manufacture
 •    Food Manufacture & Process
 •    Fresh Produce
 •    Meat and Poultry
 •    Seafood
 •    Confectionary

What jobs does this include?
There are seven main areas which careers in this industry fall into.   These are as follows:

  Research and Product Development                      Logistics
      Food Scientist                                      Warehouse Worker
      Packaging Technologist                                  Warehouse Manager
      Consumer Scientist                                      Distribution Manager
  Purchasing                                                  Driver
      Buyer                                             Quality Assurance
      Assistant Buyer                                         Quality Control
  Dietician/Nutritionist                                      Safety Officer
      Dietician                                               Health & Safety Advisor
      Nutritionist                                      Production
  Food Marketing                                              Baker
      Public Relations                                        Brewer
      Web Marketing                                           Bottler

Food and Drink Manufacture in the UK
The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest single employer, employing over 3.5 million people.
                                                                                                 By Jodie Mickleburgh

Food retail is the largest consumer market, with food service the fourth largest. Food and drink is
                                                                                                  and Leonie Gordon

also the largest manufacturing industry in the UK, with an annual turnover over £73 billion (Food and
Drink Federation, 2004). Food and drink are produced UK-wide but regionally, Yorkshire and
Humber, the West Midlands and the North West stand out as particular areas of concentration for the
The food and drink sector continues to expand. With increased demand for convenience, quality and
originality as well as a better awareness of healthy eating, the consumer has never had a greater
choice in their supermarket, convenience store or high street. Many aspects of the food and drink
industry are heavily driven by customer service. Putting the customer first can result in long hours
and weekend working, particularly within hospitality and retail; the Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, working
pattern is not really an option in many cases!
               Careers in Food and Drink Manufacture
What’s happening in our area?
Over the past few years, Bedfordshire and Luton
has continued to expand and flourish in this area
of food and drink manufacture. We are currently
home to a variety of the country’s top food and
drink companies like Heinz, Bernard Matthews,
Jordan Cereals and Whitbread, just to name a

The vast array of countryside and farming in the
area has also stimulated a growth in the industry.
This is shown by the increase of locally produced
fresh products, mainly in dairy, fruit, vegetables,
meat and meat-based products. Local farming has
become so popular that the ‘Tastes               of
Bedfordshire’ scheme created by Bedfordshire
County Council have put together a local directory
of producers and distributors to help promote and
encourage food and drink businesses from the                                     Source:

                                                              **Interesting fact**
Our   area in particular is becoming         more Despite the amount of activity within this
attractive to potential businesses outside of         industry in our area it is predicted that there will
our region and as a result, companies both big and    be a general slow down nationally over the next
small are deciding to relocate and move to            few years. Why? This is mainly just because
invest in the area.                                   other industries are performing better than food
                                                      and drink manufacture.
                                                      Bedfordshire & Luton however will continue to
                                                      experience growth and improvement in the
                                                      industry, but the number of people working in
                                                      the industry is expected to decrease.

                                                      There is no doubt that the combination of rural
                                                      and urban development in our area combined
                                                      with our convenient location has clearly had a
                                                      big impact on the growth of the local food and
                                                      drink manufacturing industry.

                               **Company Size Fact**
In Bedfordshire & Luton, the bigger food manufacturing companies (like Bernard Matthews) which
have over 200 employees make up only 8% of our local companies within this industry. Other
companies like this are: Parripak Foods (veggies), Charles Wells (brewers), Saxon Valley Foods
and Hazlewood Foods.

What does this mean?
This means that smaller companies make up the majority of the food and drink manufacturing
business in our area. In fact, companies with between 1 and 10 employees represent 67%
of the industry’s local businesses.
Despite having such a large batch of smaller companies in our area, very few people are actually
employed to work in them. The majority of local people work in companies which have over 50
employees. Around 90% of the local food and manufacturing workforce are in these companies.
               Careers in Food and Drink Manufacture

Bernard Matthews ‘the king of poultry-based products’ (and famous traditionally for its turkeys)
recently moved to the area, taking residence in a new modern building situated on the Woodside
Industrial Estate on the borders of Luton and Dunstable.
The new factory opened in 2004 and has since gradually expanded to specifically produce
sandwiches, pizzas and other pastry products for it’s ever-demanding customers across the
In the whole of the Eastern region the company employs approximately 4000 people and as a
result of the new factory, a share of these jobs is now secured by local people in Luton and
When it comes to the recruitment of staff, Bernard Matthews is eager to work with local
organisations and projects, with the view to giving opportunities to those willing to learn new
skills and developing each employees’ individual confidence.
Already links are being made with Kingsland College (Houghton Regis), Lewsey Farm Regeneration
Project and Barnfield College.                                           Source:

Honeytop Speciality Foods is a company renowned for its production and supply of flat-
breads and naans and yes, it is a company based right here in our region on the Woodside
Industrial Estate.
This family run business, set up in 1999, is the leading supplier of ethnic breads within the UK,
Europe and even to the Near East and the USA.
Their huge success is based upon their advanced baking technologies and the overwhelming
demand for fresh naan at the convenience of the customer (which would previously have been
available in Indian restaurants and takeaways only).
They supply for top brands like Sharwoods, Tesco’s, McDonald’s, Asda and many more. More
importantly, being based in Bedfordshire increases the profile of our area, provides job opportunities
for local people and generates business.

Some Other Food & Manufacturing Companies in Bedfordshire & Luton
•     Dairy Born Foods Ltd
•     Sam Pan Foods Ltd
•     York House Meat Products Ltd
•     Olympic Foods Ltd
•     Prinsen UK Ltd
•     Heinz Frozen and Chilled Foods Ltd
•     Jordan’s Cereals Ltd
•     Inbev Ltd (formerly Interbrew)
•     Whitbread Ltd (including David Lloyd Leisure, Costa Coffee etc)
•     Charles Wells Ltd
•     Waterdene Frozen Foods Ltd
                          Careers in Food and Drink Manufacture
What qualifications will I need?
The qualifications you will require for each of these professions will depend entirely on the job. For
example, to be a Food Scientist, you may need a Degree in Food Sciences. To work in Food Market-
ing, you may need qualifications in Web Design, Business Studies or Marketing (all available at De
Montfort University—See Useful Contacts, or refer to the UCAS website). This is not strictly the norm
however. It is worth noting that 69% of the workforce in this Industry in 2005 were qualified
at NVQ1 or NVQ2 level and only 14% were qualified to NVQ 4 or 5 (Degree Level or
Therefore, there are many careers in the industry where you need few qualifications and you can
train while working. This option is often offered in the form of an Apprenticeship.

Earn While You Learn!                                                                                  What kind of salary can I
Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular way to                                                             expect?
get training and qualifications whilst you are earning This depends on the kind of job you go into,
money. More than 250,000 young people in England but starting salaries can be anything up to
are on an Apprenticeship Scheme.                           £25,000 per year.         In Connexions
An Apprenticeship involves training on-the-job along       Bedfordshire and Luton’s Salary Survey
with learning Key Skills, which will not only gain you a January—September 2007 salaries for
Technical Certificate in your chosen career, but will young people of 16-19 ranged from
also increase your chances of finding a job in that field, £122.10 per week to £211.54 per week.
as you have been gaining experience whilst working As in all industries, your salary will increase
for your qualification.                                    with every move you make up the career
There are many benefits to Apprenticeship training… ladder.            This means that the more
not least the fact that you are not accruing debt whilst qualifications and experience you can gain
you study as you are likely to do if you study for a in the sector, the better earning potential
Degree. It also increases your confidence in working you will have.           For example, it is not
with others at an earlier age and provides you with        unusual for a Senior Food Scientist to be on
valuable on-the-job experience that many of your a salary of more than £75,000 per year!
competitors will not have, thereby making you more
employable to many companies.
Improve (Food and Drink                                                                                  Barnfield College
Sector Skills Council)                                                                                   Pauline Shearsmith
Ground Floor                                                                                             New Bedford Road
Providence House                                                                                         Luton, Beds
2 Innovation Court                                                                                       LU2 7BF
Heslington, York, YO10 5ZF                                                                               Tel: 01582 569600
Tel: 0845 644 0448                                                                                       Email:pauline.shearsmith@barnfield.a
Fax: 0845 6440 449                                                                             
Email:                                                                             Web:
                                VT Plus Training                                                         Universities and Colleges
De Montfort University          Unit 9 Manor Farm                                                        Admissions Service (UCAS)
The Gateway                     Meppershall Road                                                         Customer Service Unit
Leicester, LE1 9BH              Upper Stondon                                                            PO Box 28
Tel: 0116 255 1551 /            Bedfordshire                                                             Cheltenham
                  08459 454 647 SG16 6LJ                                                                 GL52 3LZ
Fax: 0116 257 7533              Tel: 01473 744952                                                        Tel: 0870 1122211
Email:        Fax: 01473 744719                                                        Email:
Web:                                                            Web:
Acknowledgements—Information for this factsheet was gathered from the following sources:
•                                                                       • Bedfordshire and Luton Economic Development Partnership
• Improve—Sector Skills Council for Food & Drink Manufacturing                             • Learning and Skills Council
• Food and Drink Federation 2004                                                           • Chamber Business (Bedfordshire and Luton)
•                                                                      • Luton and South Bedfordshire Business File
•                                                           • Food and Drink Federation 2004
     Fact sheet updated in March 2008. Should you have any queries about the information provided, please speak to your
                  school/college PA or contact your local centre on 08456 123300 or visit

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