Operations/Production/Skilled Trades | FoodGrads

1 FIND YOUR PURPOSE IN THE FOOD & BEVERAGE INDUSTRY Are you a student/ job seeker looking to learn more about career paths available to you? FoodGrads is here to help you explore the Food & Beverage industry, and the variety of fulfilling careers available. We are on a mission to attract, guide and develop the next generation of Food and Beverage industry pros. Learn about careers in OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/SKILLED TRADES and how these professionals are helping to create food products that people love.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Brewmasters ...................................................................... Industrial Butcher ............................................................... Cheese Maker ..................................................................... Director of Operations ....................................................... Fish Worker ........................................................................ Machine Operator .............................................................. Millwright Mechanic ........................................................... Production Planner ............................................................. Production Lead Hand ........................................................ Production Manager ........................................................... Winemaker .......................................................................... Plant Manager .................................................................... Maintenance Manager ........................................................ Sanitation Manager ............................................................ Automation Controls Specialist .......................................... Refrigerator Technician ....................................................... How It All Comes Together ................................................ Our Education Partners ...................................................... 1 5 9 13 17 21 25 29 31 37 41 45 49 53 57 61 65 67

Brewmasters OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/ SKILLED TRADES BREWMASTER 2 Craft brewing despite it’s skyrocketing popularity in the past decade still continues to grow. It can be hard to keep track of all the incredible micro-breweries popping up across the country. There are now small breweries, large breweries and everything in between. Because of this explosion, there are many breweries looking for passionate people about creating quality products. What is the name of the professionals who breweries are looking for? Brewmasters! These professionals combine passion and science to make tasty drinks. 1. Brewmasters Brew Beer Brewmasters are professionals responsible for all duties related to brewing beer. These duties include making beer, preparing beer mixtures, cleaning and keeping an eye on fermenting processes. This profession is very physical because brewmasters spend a lot of their time cleaning tanks and equipment. Cleaning is an essential chore because it ensures safe, quality products. In a more senior position, the brewmaster manages other brewery-related tasks such as staff schedules and ordering inventory. Brewmasters must stay on their toes watching workers perform their daily duties. These duties include setting machines to the right conditions, tank cleaning, canning and shipping/receiving. The most enjoyable part of a brewmasters job is tasting. Throughout the beer-making process, brewmasters taste the beer and adjust it during the fermentation process. They check for texture, consistency, dryness and cleanliness of the product. 2. Brewmasters Have Degrees in Food science and brewmaster operations The educational requirements for becoming a brewmaster vary by brewery. The title of “brewmaster” is typically reserved for someone with many years of experience, as it is a higherlevel position within the organization. Often, becoming a brewmaster begins at an entry-level position, such as a keg cleaner or cellar worker. While formal education is not a requirement for being a brewmaster, work experience in a brewery-related occupation is typically a must. However, some breweries may require individuals to hold a college or university degree in brewing, microbiology, food science, fermentation, chemistry, or even brewery operations management. Alternatively, some people start their own breweries without any prior industry experience, simply by pursuing their passion for beer with a garage brewing kit. So if you’re not afraid of hard work and have plenty of ambition, applying to existing breweries is not your only option! 3. Brewmasters Understand Beer Beer is as simple or as complex as you make it. Whether they understand the science behind beer or not, brewmasters still know how different actions affect the outcome of a beer. For example, if production noticed that a beer tasted skunky during processing, they would look to the brewmaster to determine the cause which could for example be caused by incorrect beer storage. By utilizing their scientific knowledge, brewmasters can troubleshoot problems that arise during production. These professionals understand the properties of gases and liquids, thermodynamics, pH and pressure, and how they influence brewery production processes and beer quality. Brewmaster Combining passion and science to make tasty drinks Photo by Andrii/stock.adobe.com University of Guelph is an Education of ours, check them out on FoodGrads! Click their logo below! Available Programs: Artisan Distilling, Beverage Business Management, Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management and Winery and Viticulture Technician. University of Guelph

BREWMASTER 3 BREWMASTER 4 7. Brewmasters Ensure Quality There are many aspects involved in maintaining the quality of beer. Having intuition isn’t enough, as quantitative tests are also needed to assess the quality of products. In a brewery these quality tests can be performed by a quality control/ assurance technician. Here are some examples that brewmasters perform to ensure the quality of their product: • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Beer by nature is carbonated, but if there is too much CO2, the beer will become flat. In contrast, if there is too little, the beer will have no foam at all. CO2 is tested by reading a pressure gauge on the vats of beer. • Dissolved Oxygen (DO): Oxygen is something you don’t want in your beer. Oxygen causes beer to oxidize, which yields a paper or cardboard flavour over time, especially if beer is kept warm. DO is measured using a DO meter. • Microbiology: Beer uses microorganisms like yeast to produce the fermentation required for beer. Brewmasters check for unwanted organisms using plating. An example of an organism they may check for is lactobacillus, as it’s an anaerobic bacterium that produces lactic acid which sours beer. 8. Brewmasters Communicate, Teach and Adapt Being a brewmaster requires a range of skills. However, there are a few which are more essential than others. These skills include: • Effective communication – Brewmasters work as part of a team and the success of a batch of beer is dependent on the cooperation and understanding of others. They must adjust their communication style based on whom they are talking to. Overall, employees must be aware of their responsibilities and what has to be done when troubleshooting. • Teaching ability – Brewmasters are facility members most knowledgeable about beer. So it’s their responsibility to instill this knowledge onto others by teaching well. Through their teachings they can inspire their staff members! • Adaptability – A well-rounded brewmaster must be capable of changing with the demands of a brewery as they occur. If a product doesn’t arrive on time or a staff member calls in sick, they should be able to rearrange schedules. Brewmasters who have been in the business long enough can detect even the slightest changes in their beer. To them, making beer is a way of life, and they use their intuition to solve problems. 4. Brewmasters Spend a Lot of Time Cleaning Being a brewmaster isn’t as a glamorous as you might think. Brewing beers requires an extensive amount of cleaning because beer tanks are constantly filled and refilled. Pipes carrying fluids can breed bacteria if they are not maintained. Beer is very finicky and can pick up unwanted flavours, so cleaning is important! Here is an outline of a standard tank cleaning procedure: 1. Pre-rinse: Cold or tepid plain water 2. Cleaning: Hot water and cleanser (typically caustic soda) 3. Acid rinse: Cold or warm water and acid-based solution 4. Water rinse: Cold water rinse 5. Post-rinse sanitation: Tepid water and disinfectant Imagine how much time that would take! 5. Brewmasters Create New Formulations One the most enjoyable parts of being a brewmaster for many is creating new beer formulations. There are many tasks that go into creating new beers such as working with vendors and choosing the raw materials that are used in the brewing process. Additionally, to ensure that the raw ingredients have the specific attributes necessary for the beer in mind the brewmaster likely will have to conduct specific tests required for brewing the beer. In addition to creating new beers they also have to create new packaging and labels. Overall, this process involves a lot of trial and error, but the end results are worth it. 6. Brewmasters Manage People Depending on the size of the company, brewmasters could be responsible for all operations tasks in a brewery. Sometimes they are even the owners of the brewery! These professionals oversee daily operations and ensure they meet scheduled production requirements. Not only do they focus on the quality of the beer, but also the health and safety of the employees. Other management responsibilities include developing annual plans and budgets, arranging worker schedules, ensuring products meet legal compliance, record keeping and managing inventory. Learn how Michael combined his hobby of home beer making with his undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology article “My Path to Beer Brewing”. How to Become a Brewmaster: Advice for Students & Professionals from HenHouse Brewery’s Zach Kelly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVqaS0b_pd8 Curious about what it takes to become a Brewmaster? HenHouse Brewery’s Zach Kelly shares his untraditional path of becoming a Brewmaster and how others can enter in the field. He highlights the UC Davis Brewing Program and Siebel Institute of Technology along with ergonomic importance. If you’re interested in craft beer, there are also different roles beyond making beer so tune in to learn more. Wheat, rice, and different types of sugar can all be used to produce beer, but barley is the most widely used ingredient. Typically, barley is malted, or toasted over a dry heat source to convert its inherent starches into sugars, which can subsequently undergo fermentation. 1. Informational Interviews are Invaluable When I was looking for my first co-op role, I told everyone I talked to that I was interested in working in food. I found out that a friend of my family went to church with a product development manager. They were able to connect me with her for an information interview. Information interviews are great, low-risk tools! You can learn insider info about roles and companies, get invaluable advice from experienced employees and define your own goals better as a result. 2. Keep an open mind There was a lot more to a Quality job than I initially thought, and I enjoyed the pace of work and problem-solving involved more than I thought I would. The experience taught me not to limit myself to one area of work, or judge opportunities too quickly. I have also found that interdisciplinary experience is really valuable in the food industry. The perspectives I gained through my position in Quality have come into play in every position I have been in since. I’m very grateful for that co-op position that I was once so apprehensive about. Always keep your mind open to different types of opportunities every experience is valuable and you might end up liking something more than you thought. 3. Network 3 Lessons I Learned Starting Out in the Food Industry The word networking is intimidating. You may be thinking of career fairs, or even employer presentations on campus. But your network doesn’t just have to be professional connections. Everyone you know is in your network – you never know who your friends and family can connect you with, or who might be looking to fill a position (just look at what happened with my first co-op term!). Never be afraid to network! While the idea of networking can be intimidating, it can open a lot of doors. Author: Sonya Turvey

Industrial Butcher OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/ SKILLED TRADES INDUSTRIAL BUTCHER 6 Butchery is one of the oldest professions in the food and beverage industry. This profession dates all the way back to the domestication of livestock when butchers formed guilds in England. That’s as far back as 1272! It encompasses the art and skills of cutting, preparing and selling meat products. Although butchery is a vital important profession much of the meat that you purchase in the supermarket is cut and processing in food processing plants. This career profile investigates the exciting careers of butchers – more specifically, the jobs of industrial butchers. They’re similar but not quite the same as retail butchers. The major difference is that industrial butchers primarily work in food processing plants and not supermarkets/specialty stores that cater directly to consumers. 1. Industrial Butchers Prepare and Process Meat Industrial butchers (meat cutters) prepare meat for customers by boning, tying, grinding, cutting and trimming meat. They safely use a combination of knives and specialized equipment to turn farm-raised animals into safe meat products that adhere to industry, governmental and organizational standards. To correctly cut meat, butchers must have a strong knowledge of animal anatomy. Some examples of tasks that they may perform include: • Breaking carcasses into larger cuts for other departments • Preparing individual portions by breaking larger portions of meat • Removing bones and cutting meat into specific cuts During these tasks, industrial butchers will also inspect meat products for defects, bruises or blemishes and remove them and any excess fat. Additionally, meat cutters maintain and clean their workstations to reduce the risk of food contamination and adhere to food safety guidelines. Cleaning includes washing down stations, taking apart and putting equipment back together. 2. Butchers Do Not Need Post Secondary Degrees Becoming an industrial butcher is a great career if you are looking for a job that does not require a postsecondary degree. Generally, employers only require a high school diploma or equivalent. Many food processors will hire with no past work experience and are willing to train their employees. However, it is typical that meat cutters will not be immediately placed on the line but instead will perform adjacent meat cutting duties until they are fully trained. This might include assisting with general packing and working on the line. However, in recent years more opportunities have arisen allowing an individual to become a certified meat cutter. For example, Food Processing Skills Canada offers a certified industrial meat cutter certification which recognizes individuals who meet standards defining competence in the meat field. 3. Butchers Understand Meat Although it might sound obvious, butchers truly understand meat. Some trained butchers even learn how to make sausages, cure meat and roll roasts. These techniques are also considered to be an art in themselves. If you want to test this knowledge out for yourselves, drop by your local butcher shop and ask your butcher a few questions. 4. Butchers Know How to Use Processing Equipment Depending on their position, an industrial Industrial Butcher Skillfully crafting quality meat products Did you know? Becoming an industrial butcher is a great position for individuals looking to build a career in manufacturing. A possible career progress could include: - Meat cutter - Lead Hand - Meat Packing Supervisor - Shift Supervisor - Plant Manager

INDUSTRIAL BUTCHER 7 INDUSTRIAL BUTCHER 8 butcher may be required to control automated machinery. Some common pieces of machinery found in processing plants include: • Grinders • Slicers • Coolers and freezers • Sausage Stuffers As a machine operator, an individual must know how to set up, maintain, and disassemble equipment based on a product’s requirements. Furthermore, they must closely monitor machinery during production runs. If they notice that the products do not match company standards they will perform corrective machine adjustments and let quality assurance become aware of the problem. 5. Butchers Can Have Physically Demanding Jobs For a variety of reasons, butchering is considered a physically demanding profession. Firstly, butchers must stand for long periods and continuously repeat the same movements. Depending on their position they may be required to lift large boxes to different facility areas. In recent years, employers have focused on cross-functionally training employees to prevent the job from becoming too repetitive. Cross-functional training is when an individual is trained to do multiple roles. Therefore, an industrial butcher may debone chickens during the morning shift but in the afternoon may shift to cutting the chickens into individual portions. 6. Butchers Work in Cold Environments Butchers work in cold environments to preserve the freshness of meat products and prevent the growth of bacteria. That means entire food processing areas can be chilled like one giant refrigerator! Butchers keep up with the cold by wearing layers and taking breaks in warmer areas of the facility. Both aspects are fundamental because fatigue happens faster in cold environments. 7. Butchers Work Cleanly Extra care has to be taken when keeping equipment clean and sanitized at meat processing facilities. Equipment used at these processing facilities can harbour bacteria such E.coli, Salmonella and Clostridium. If an individual were to consume these bacteria they could get very sick or even die. Therefore, butchers need to clean their tools and work surfaces frequently. Keeping things clean is a facility-wide effort. In addition to the cleaning above during scheduled intervals meat processing plants are cleaned thoroughly. Foam cleaners are used that cover the entire room including walls and floors. This foam cleaner helps to get in all the small cracks where bacteria could grow. Once the foaming agent has been applied, cleaners will manually scrub and wash all areas. Scrubbing agitates bacteria’s membrane essentially killing them. Once scrubbed the cleaning process is completed by rinsing down the surfaces and adding a sanitizer to the surfaces. 8. Butchers Have Manual Dexterity, an Attention for Detail and Stamina Being a butcher requires a wide range of skills. However, there are a few which are more essential than others. These skills include: • Manual dexterity – Butchers work in cold environments which can be uncomfortable and cause a butcher’s hands to become numb. These professionals need to have the dexterity to work in both warm and cold conditions and consistently perform the correct cuts of meat. • Attention to detail – Properly breaking down a cow (or any other animal) requires a high degree of vigilance. A single incorrect cut could ruin a good piece of meat or even cause injury to oneself. Additionally, meat cutters must pay close attention to the meat for defects, bruises or blemishes during the cutting process. • Physical stamina – Most of a butcher’s job occurs on their feet. Butchers are comfortable spending their entire jobs on their feet bending, twisting, turning and other associated actions. As you can imagine, this is a very physical occupation! Learn how to get the job you want with Conestoga Meats Neha Mehta, Food Safety Quality Assurance Compliance Coordinator/Supervisor at Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Laurie Nicol, CareersNow! Meat & Poultry Sector Lead The Art and Prestige of Butchery! http://tinyurl.com/yc4x4vpp Dive into the world of butchery with Conestoga Meats! Watch to learn more about the art and skills of butchery! (Government of Canada, 2023)

Cheese Maker OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/ SKILLED TRADES CHEESE MAKER Parmesan, Gouda, Swiss, Havarti - these are just a few types of cheeses in the long list of those available. To get their signature characteristics, all cheeses must go through a unique cheesemaking process. The size at which these cheeses are made also has an impact. Some cheeses are made in industrial settings, mixed in large vats with thousands of liters of creams such as those found in supermarket private label brands. Other cheeses, on the other hand, are exclusively created in small batches with each ingredient meticulously chosen by an artisanal cheese maker. No matter the size of the company behind every block of cheese is a cheese maker. Here are the facts behind this important profession! 1. Cheese Makers Produce Cheese! Cheese makers create cheese and related cheese products. Ordering and procuring milk, managing the cheese-making process, doing quality checks, packaging cheeses, and monitoring the aging process of cheeses are typical duties performed by cheese makers on a daily basis. These experts can work in huge cheesemaking facilities where tons of cheese are produced. Cheese made at this scale is typically meant for large consumer markets such a pizzerias and restaurants. Alternatively, a cheese maker could work in smaller family-run store or facility. Generally, smaller shops produce small batch artisanal cheeses because the processing is longer and more intense. You can find these cheese varieties in speciality stores. Depending on the size of the organization, cheese producers perform a variety of functions. In a smaller facility they perform tasks including quality control, customer service and even research & development. In a larger industrial facility, they concentrate on production producing a lot of one type of cheese. 2. Cheese Makers Generally Have Three Levels of Seniority Artisanal cheese makers have different levels of seniority, depending on their experience. These levels are as follows: • Assistant/Apprentice- Apprentices just starting out learn the technical aspects of cheese. As an apprentice, you work in the production room performing tasks like monitoring and sanitizing cheese vats, measuring ingredients, documenting the cheesemaking process, packaging cheese and removing cheese from vats. • Head Cheese Makers- Head cheese makers oversee the cheese production process and ensure that everything runs smoothly. This includes making sure all the ingredients are ready for production, coming up with solutions as problems arise and inspecting cheeses during the aging process. It is common for them to perform hiring duties and training new staff members. • Owners- Owners of a cheese company have the highest level of seniority. At this point, they know almost everything there is to know about their cheese and can easily distinguish if everything is up to standards. It is more common for someone to start their own company and become an owner than it is to work their way up the ranks. 3. Cheese Makers Have no Standardized Educational Path According to a survey by the American Cheese Society, most cheese professionals are selftaught or gained technical knowledge from onthe-job training. If you can get your foot through the door as an apprentice, you are well on your way to becoming a full-fledged cheese maker. Some professionals are born into families which have been making cheese for several years. Having a food science degree or a diploma related to cheese making will help you obtain a job in larger industrial-scale companies. However, many workers enter the industry with a basic high school diploma. Having experience in food production will be helpful but is not a necessity. If you are interested in becoming a cheese maker, you should contact your local county farm or cheese counter. Understanding the differences between cheeses is a great start for your cheese making journey. Alternatively, in the United States, the American Cheese Association is always looking Cheese Maker Creating delicious cheeses Photo by JackF/stock.adobe.com 10

CHEESE MAKER 11 CHEESE MAKER 12 for eager cheese lovers to join their association. Cheese makers are not required to become certified, but many feel it is an essential to prove their knowledge of food. Currently there is no Canadian certification equivalent available. 4. Cheese Makers Practically Live in Rubber Boots and Overalls Facilities used to make cheese are frequently damp and moist. Therefore, cheese makers practically live in white coats, rubber boots and hair nets because it ensures food safety and quality. The nature of the job is wet and messy, as cheese makers transfer milk to different vats and work with their hands to move curds to cheese molds. Additionally, the job is highly repetitive, as many of the same cheeses are produced every day. So, make sure you’re comfortable with getting wet! 5. Cheese Makers Rely on Science for Their Work Although cheese makers are artists of the cheese world, they have to rely a lot on science for their work. Cheese involves a lot of science to succeed. Anyone can make cheese, but difficulty lies in getting all the factors right to make the right kind of cheese. For example, cheese making relies on enzymes to help coagulate milk proteins leading to the formation of curds. Additionally, cheese makers must be mindful of pH during the cheese making process. pH effects factors such as how the milk proteins coagulate and how the microorganisms in cheese will grow. Controlling the pH within an appropriate range supports the growth of desirable bacteria while inhibiting the growth of undesirable or harmful microorganisms. 6. Cheese Makers Depend on Their Palate Every batch of cheese is slightly different even if the same practices are carried out every single time. Small variances occur in a cow’s diet, ultimately affecting the quality and taste of its milk. A trained cheese maker with a high attention for detail can determine cheese production problems simply by taste. Their superior palates can tell when a cheese has aged correctly and is ready for supermarket shelves. Some cheese makers milk their own animals just to acquire the perfect tasting milk! 7. Cheese Makers Sometimes Take Care of Animals It is not uncommon for producers of specialty cheese stores to raise their own sheep, goats and cows. Many claim that this leads to superior quality cheese, as the milk can be used at its freshest. Taking the ingredients directly from the source allows the cheese maker to have total control of the cheese making process. This is the perfect job for someone who loves cheese and the chance to work with animals. 8. Cheese Makers Are Observant, Physically Strong and Can Operate Machinery As with any occupation, there are certain sets of skills which will aid you better than others. For a cheese maker, these skills include: • Keen observation- Cheese makers need to be in tune with the cheeses they are making. Cheeses need to be inspected frequently to ensure the ripening process happens correctly. Minor differences can alert them to a problem so correction can be made quickly during the process. It is important to be able to tell minor differences between cheeses and what they mean. • Ability to stand for long periods of time- Although this isn’t a skill per-say much of a cheese maker’s job takes place on their feet. Makers need to be comfortable with bending, twisting, turning and other associated actions. So make sure your physically fit when starting this career! • Ability to operate machinery- Cheeses today typically rely on the use of machines and automation. For example, cheese curds are mixed in large vats where overhead mixers mix the curds. To make the cheese correctly (and in a safe manner) cheesemakers need to be comfortable working with automated machinery. Knowing how to operate machinery allows them to take leadership when operating the equipment and ensuring that everything is being made correctly. Want to learn more about cheese makers straight from the source? Then check out episode 68 of the FoodGrads Podcast where we interviewed Janice Groenhide, Cheesemaker and owner of WalkAboutFarm. In this episode we discuss cheesemaking, what a cheesemaker does and the misconceptions about the profession. Ridhima Phukan, Associate Product Developer at Danone North America Amelia Laplante, R&D Food Scientist at Yoso

Director of Operations OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/ SKILLED TRADES DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS When you work at a company, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations without looking too far out in the future. Manufacturing plants are fast-paced environments with a lot of moving parts. If you don’t have someone to set long term goals, things can get swept under the table which could lead to disaster. It only makes sense that companies hire individuals with the foresight to look into the future and plan strategically. Who are these individuals? They are Directors of Operation (or Chief Operations Officers), highly experienced professionals with many years of work experience. A career to aspire to! 1. Directors of Operations Organize and Oversee Daily Operations The Director of Operations (DO) is a member of an upper management team that oversees the day-to-day operations of a food manufacturing plant. They ensure that a company moves smoothly while reaching long term goals. They are responsible for overseeing and optimizing production, supply chain management and logistical intricacies. To do so, they assign schedules and delegate tasks to staff and teams to complete daily activities. It is a DO’s responsibility to judge how efficiently and effectively the business operates. Tasks include reviewing business procedures (how staff perform tasks), business expenses (the cost of materials) and inspecting the efficiency of staff. Through analysis and collaboration, they improve business processes and ensure that plants work at the highest levels of operation efficiency. The duties that a DO performs is dependent on the company that they work for. For example, some DOs oversee manufacturing, sales and purchasing while others target specific areas. Overall, the director of operations provides leadership for operations, pushing the company forward. 2. Directors of Operations Use Key Performance Indicators The Director of Operations improves the efficiency of companies by developing ways of tracking progress. In the business world, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) track progress to evaluate the success of manufacturing processes and initiatives. Measuring KPIs allows the director to know what areas a company needs to improve. For example, production lines have a maximum amount they can produce during a period of time. A director of operations measures how much of the available capacity is being used on a production line because they want to maximize its time used. Therefore, one way to improve efficiency is upkeeping maintenance on machine parts. 3. Directors of Operations Have a Lot of Work Experience Due to the oversight needed for this profession, it is not uncommon for a company to require an individual to have at least 10 years of experience working in a senior management role within a manufacturing facility. Having extensive work experience allows the individual to have the insight to know which changes a manufacturing plant would benefit from and where to apply those improvements. It is almost always a requirement that the Director of Operations has a bachelor’s degree of some sort. Many companies do not specify what type of degree they require, but common educational backgrounds include operations management, industrial engineering, logistics and financial administration. Anyone interested in this position should also consider an advanced business-related degree such as a Master of Business Administration (also known as an MBA). 4. Directors of Operations Create Avenues for Employee Development For a company to grow, they need workers to grow with them. Worker growth comes from a culture of accountability and teamwork. The DO Director of Operations Building and managing operations Photo by pch.vector/freepik.com Photo by Uladzimir/stock.adobe.com 14

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS 15 DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS 16 is at the forefront, working toward this initiative by developing mentorship and training programs. Having proper training and development brings the skills and knowledge of all employees to a higher level. Another way for a DO to create avenues employee development is by encouraging job rotations and cross-functional exposure. Job rotations allow employees to develop a broader understanding of the business and acquire new skills. 5. Directors of Operations Follow Regulations You might think that only Health/Safety Managers and Quality Managers are knowledgeable about food safety regulations, but this isn’t the case. A DO also makes sure that their company’s manufacturing facilities are compliant with all food safety regulations and that employees work in safe environments. They do so by ensuring that their companies have a culture that extends from upper management all the way down to production line workers. DOs look at the bigger picture and analyze data relating to food safety to see if they can spot trouble areas. If they do identify one they will work with upper management to create plans to resolve these areas. Overall, if a company fails and a significant food safety incident were to occur the DO is held responsible legally. 6. Directors of Operations Have Experience in Demand Planning Demand planning is the process of forecasting demand for a product or service so it can be produced properly and on time. This skill includes planning, scheduling and coordinating the workload schedules of day-to-day activities of the operation. Overall, demand planning is a skill that develops with time. 7. Directors of Operations Create Recommendations Due to their upper management position, a DO has an overview of the entire company. Using their KPIs, they determine which parts of the company are running inefficiently. When they spot problems, they collaborate with different departments and develop long-term operational plans. An example of a recommendation is reallocating a company’s manufacturing budget for pies to cakes because that is where the company is seeing more success. 8. Directors of Operations are Leaders, Decisive and Personable As with any occupation, there are certain sets of skills which will aid you better than others. For a Director of Operations, these skills include: • Leadership – The Director of Operations needs to be an energizing, positive influence who promotes ownership and accountability. This role involves stewardship, and constantly encouraging their workforce to meet goals for the overall success of the business. • Decision Making – Effective leaders take their time when making decisions by going through a process. Once a Director of Operations makes a decision, they stick to their choice because they know they have analyzed the situation thoroughly before deciding. Strong decisions lead to better visions and goals within a company. • Interpersonal Skills – A Director of Operations communicates constantly with individuals both within and outside their company. Interpersonal skills such as listening, speaking and writing must be strong for individuals in a leadership position such as a DO. Photo by Lukas/pexels.com Do you have a passion for food? For career advice, support and connections, visit FoodGrads.com! Learn How to Get The Job You Want From Industry Experts from FGF Brands Chloe Hoang, Product Developer Assistant at Give & Go Foods 8 Facts about Bakers

Fish Worker OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/ SKILLED TRADES FISH WORKER Fishing is one of the oldest professions dating back to the Mesolithic period. Fishermen would navigate the sea, returning their catches to their community. They may have sold the catches to local fish markets or brought them to their families. Fishing today looks different, nowadays many fishermworkers may sell their fish to processors who turn fish into ready-made products. Just think of all the fish-related products in your local supermarket! That’s thanks to fish workers/food processors! Despite the rise of automation processing fish is challenging. That’s why processors need skilled professionals who can break down fish so it can be used in cooking. These professionals are known as fish workers and are essential to feeding millions. 1. Fish Workers Understand Fish Fish workers are responsible for handling, caring, processing and cleaning an assortment of fish species for customers. These professionals perform various duties which vary depending on the where they are employed. Some fish workers sort and organize fish along conveyor belts making sure that only the highest quality fish are used. Others may work as fish boners because they cut, clean and trim whole fish by hand. In seafood plants (ex. shrimp and crab), these individuals disjoint meat from crustaceans for further processing. Alternatively, some fish workers are known as machine operators because they set up and operate machinery to process and package fish and seafood products. Operating processing equipment includes assembling equipment for production, checking product quality and adjusting machines. 2. Fish Workers Understand Fish You would think that in today’s world of technological advancements fish in factories would be filleted by a machine, but this is not the case. Most fillets are still cut by hand—fish even of the same species do not come in the same size, shape or weight. Because a fish’s bones are delicate, the human hand is the most efficient at filleting without destroying a piece of fish. Due to hands-on experience, fish workers are very familiar with fish anatomy and how to cut them into different size. Overall, fish workers truly understand fish. Not only that, but they also know how seasonal changes and locations change the size and texture of fish. Those interested in getting a head start in learning about fish can ask a butcher at any local supermarket. They are a wealth of information and are happy to share their knowledge. 3. Fish Workers do Not Need Postsecondary Education Becoming a fish worker is an excellent career for anyone looking to enter the food manufacturing industry without a postsecondary education. Employers generally only require a high school diploma or equivalent. Many processing plants also require no past work experience and are willing to train newcomers. However, for more specialized roles and fish requiring a more delicate touch, employers require over a year of work experience. Being a fish worker is a good starting role where you can build a rewarding career in a company. For example, an individual can start in production and eventually work up to a machine operator, supervisor and potentially a director a company! 4. Fish Workers Have Physically Demanding Jobs As you might expect, fish workers have physically demanding jobs that require them to spend nearly all their time on their feet with intense focus. These professionals are constantly working with their hands, sorting fish, or cutting fish with sharp tools. Cutting a fish requires not only manual dexterity, but also hand-eye Fish Worker Bringing fish from the ocean to your plate Photo by pressmaster/stock.adobe.com Check our career profile on machine operators to learn more about this role! 18

FISH WORKER 19 FISH WORKER 20 coordination. You wouldn’t need to go to the gym with this job! 5. Fish Workers Work in Cold Environments Working conditions for fish workers are cold because cold environments keep fish products fresh longer and inhibit bacterial growth. Fish workers endure the cold by wearing layers and taking breaks in warmer areas of the plant. Keeping up with these practices is very important because fatigue takes its toll faster in cold environments. 6. Fish Workers Have Good Manual Dexterity Fish workers employed at food processing companies that cut, clean and trim fish. They use sharp knives and make exact cuts based on the type of fish being processed. Cutting fish involves removing the head, deboning, and filleting the fish from the bone. Performing these tasks requires high skillfulness and manual dexterity to cut the fish without ruining them. 7. Fish Workers Work With Machinery Depending on their position, a fish worker may be required to control automated machinery. One example of machinery used in a fish processing plant is a canner, which places fish into cans. As a machine operator, an individual must know how to set up, maintain, and disassemble equipment based on a product’s requirements. Furthermore, during manufacturing runs, they closely monitor how smoothly production runs. If they notice that the products do not match company standards they will perform corrective machine adjustments and let quality assurance become aware of the problem. 8. Fish Workers Are Focused, Have Machine Aptitude and Are CrossTrained Being a fish worker requires a range of skills. However, there are a few which are more essential than others. These skills include: • Ability to focus – Fish workers can concentrate on a task for extended periods because many of these professionals perform the same task, such as filleting or sorting fish for long periods. If they don’t pay attention they could waste a good quality piece of fish because they weren’t paying attention! • Machine aptitude – Technological changes have made big differences in manufacturing. It is essential that workers keep up with these changes and understand how to operate complex fishing machinery and occasionally do routine maintenance. • Ability to be cross-trained – Cross-training involves teaching an employee hired for one job function the skills required to perform other job functions. Fish workers who can learn quickly and perform many jobs are valuable to a company. Photo by Ievgen Skrypko/stock.adobe.com Fish and Seafood Processing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAPiRYrxIa8 There are many career options to consider in New Brunswick. NBjobs.ca Occupational Videos feature interviews with New Brunswickers who work in a variety of occupations. Learn about what they do, what they love about their work, and why it might be the right fit for you. Hi! I’m Quinton, the FoodGrads Bot! For any questions please come visit me at FoodGrads.com! Fatema Bastawala, Quality Assurance and HACCP Specialist at Toppits Foods Sean Xia, Manager of Operations & Quality at Clear Ocean Seafood Nasir Hameed, Sr. Corporate Director of Global Quality & Food Safety at Acadian Seaplants (Government of Canada, 2023)

Machine Operator OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION/ SKILLED TRADES MACHINE OPERATOR When you think of manufacturing plants, odds are images of gigantic conveyor belts and equipment come to your mind. These giant machines can’t just run themselves, they need people to set up and operate them. Machines include everything from packaging lines (ex. Putting cookies in individual packaging) to mixers used to mix all the ingredients used in the dough. Who are the individuals who run these machines? Machine operators! Machine operators are the heart of food processing operations and if it weren’t for them your favourite foods wouldn’t get made. They are the experts when it comes to production lines and those with more experience, who have been in the role for a while can even tell if a machine is off by the noise it makes. 1. Machine Operators Operate Machinery Machine operators (production operators) operate machines that process and package food or beverage products. These machines can do processes such as grind, extract, blend, freeze, cook or any other unique process required to create a food. They set up, maintain and disassemble their equipment based on the product’s requirements. Their machines could involve mixing, packaging, cleaning or cooking. Machine operators ensure their machines work efficiently, are well-maintained, and are stocked with the necessary materials. This ensures minimal downtime between the equipment, which means the plant is not making money! Operators perform necessary pre-operational activities such as checking if any parts of the machine are broken if the equipment is operating safely and if everything is clean before they start. During production, they watch the products as they come off the line to ensure everything is being made correctly. Finally, machine operators rarely work alone and in small teams on their lines. Remember that they also work with quality control! 2. Machine Operators Troubleshoot Problems Any machine operator will tell you that one of the most challenging parts of the job is troubleshooting equipment. For example, a common problem in manufacturing is when the product’s weight is higher than it should be. To correct this problem, a machine operator might change the machine’s settings or check that the weight sensors are working correctly. If they find a problem they cannot resolve themselves, a machine operator promptly communicates this to their production supervisor. The plant’s maintenance department then inspects the machine to see if they can fix the problem. Troubleshooting is an important technical skill related to the machine operator’s job. If a problem occurs during a shift, a machine operator needs to know what must be done to fix it and figure out the proper procedure to do so in a relatively short time. The longer a machine operator works at a specific machine the more knowledge they will gain. When facilities are looking to improve operations, the first person they will go to is production operators because they are the individuals who know what is working and what isn’t. 3. Machine Operators Only Require High School Educations Generally, a production operator must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED to qualify. However, more specialized training may be necessary if the job demands working with high-tech equipment or machinery. All companies provide on-the-job training, so no formal education is generally required. Operating machinery is a good role for someone looking for Machine Operator Working on the front lines producing food products Day in The Life of a Filler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIPbN-rhqsE Iyonna shares what it is like being a Filler Operator at Schreiber Foods 22

MACHINE OPERATOR 23 MACHINE OPERATOR 24 an entry-level position, allowing them to work their way up in a company. Becoming a machine operator is just the first step to becoming a plant manager one day. 4. Machine Operators Clean Their Machines Depending on the size of the food manufacturer a machine operator works at they may also be required to take apart and clean their manufacturing equipment. This is usually the case for places without dedicated sanitation teams. Food manufacturing plants must be cleaned frequently. For example, suppose a manufacturing plant deals with various allergens processed on the same equipment. In that case, it must be cleaned between each new allergen. A machine operator disassembles and tends to the machine to prepare for the allergen switchover. Cleaning involves washing all food contact surfaces and sanitizing the parts. Finally, before the change-over quality staff will inspect the items and ensure they were appropriately cleaned. 5. Machine Operators Work in Shifts Many manufacturing plants have continuous operations to keep up with customer demands, including days, nights, afternoons and weekends. Because working nights can be hard on employees, many manufacturing plants conduct shift work. Typically, shift work involves switching between different shifts every two weeks. Only after working at a company for a while does an individual stick to a specific set schedule. However, more and more food processing facilities are adopting alternative work schedules. Unfortunately, being a machine operator doesn’t allow for remote work but employers are creating more work-life balance options such as compressed workweeks (working 40 hours in 4 days). 6. Machine Operators Complete Documentation In addition to running machines, production operators also track various types of information. This might be done via the old-school method of pen and paper but it is becoming increasingly common they input information on tablets or other digital offerings. Production operators may be required to track times when machines were cleaned or what products were run on a particular day. This information must be tracked because it proves that a task was performed. For example, a plant manager may schedule 1000 units of product to be run in a day however, due to packaging problems, only 600 units were created. If not correctly reported, this would cause discrepancies, leading to problems. 7. Machine Operators Perform Quality Checks Quality Control Technicians aren’t the only role that checks for quality defects. Production operators evaluate the quality of a product as it proceeds through the production line by verifying product quality factors such as weight, colour, temperature and appearance as compared to product standards. Other examples of quality checks they perform are: • Checking that the product is in the correct packaging size • Confirming the correct best-before date is printed on the label • Ovens are cooking cookies at the correct temperature If they notice any issues, they raise their concerns with their lead hand, supervisor and quality assurance personnel. They are the first line of defence, so they must watch for potential defects. 8. Machine Operators Work Fast, Pay Attention to Details and Communicate Effectively Being a machine operator requires a range of skills. However, there are a few which are more essential than others. These skills include: • Ability to work at a fast pace – Manufacturing plants are fast-paced environments and at times this can feel overwhelming. Machine operators keep up in these environments because they are intimately familiar with their machines which allows them to keep up with the pace. • Attention to detail – It is necessary for machine operators to have an eye for detail because it ensures that operations run smoothly. If they ignore the details, products could be made incorrectly, packaged in the wrong packaging or made in an unsafe manner. However, there are also safe guards in place (like check-lists) that help reduce the chance at errors. • Good communication skills – An effective machine operator must communicate information clearly. Ineffective communication could lead to issues in the department, a shortage of supplies, a broken down machine, or even a workplace-related injury. Food Science Corner: What are Fats and Oils? Plant protein – What, Why, and How? Sai Kranthi Vanga, Ph.D, Project Specialist at Protein Industries Canada (Cereals Canada, 2023)