Is The Food Industry The Right Fit For You?
I started working in the Food industry about 4 years ago. It wasn’t something that I chose for myself, at the time I did not even know what I was interested in or what I wanted to do. I was just going with the flow and somehow landed a co-op position in beverage company as a QC Technician.
Now, it has been 4 years and I am completely dedicated to food, working as a QA Tech, I am very focused on my career path and the steps I need to take to grow in the sector.
When talking about food, it is one of the most diverse sectors in the world. Everything from farm to fork, from beer to wine to whiskey comes under this field. The more you go deeper, the more interesting it gets.
The more you try to understand and learn, the more opportunities you create for yourself. It is one of those industries that suffer less during a recession, it would actually bloom everyday despite the inflation in the market.
Food is art, you mix two different tastes from any part of the world together and you have a new product!! You brainstorm and figure out a way to produce it on a larger scale, and now you have your manufacturing facility. Yes! It really is that easy, and unlike other industries it never gets boring. One does not feel stuck at one place; every-day comes with a new challenge, new regulations and new problems. This industry is ever evolving!
Interacting with co-op students, recent grads and high school students I always get asked this question, that if we opt for food science, we would end being in the Quality Department forever and that would be the end of it.
QA/QC is a great way to get your foot in the door, you uncover all the different regulations which you’d never thought existed. You learn from scratch what the government regulated bodies are looking for, what the different customer specifications are, what all the different declarations on the packages mean, what a manufacturing facility has to go through when the product gets recalled, the list is never ending.
All you need is an open mindset, and the ability to grasp all the knowledge from both quality and quantity point of view (do not forget that Quality and Quantity don’t usually meet!). It would be wrong to say that QA/QC is the only path that an individual would be on if they are in the food sector.
A person can go into Regulatory Affairs, especially if you are keen to learn about new regulations. R&D/product development is a very interesting career path if you are creative and love to experiment with food, being a Food scientist is another aspect to look into if you are interested in food on a molecular level, or you could be a food broker (Yes! That is definitely something to look into if you don’t want to work on the production floor). There are SO many choices.
Unleash your inner Foodie! Get your inspector hat on, put your curiosity to work because the food industry has definitely got something for your plate!
Author: Nitika Disawar
Nitika is an experienced Quality Assurance / Quality Control with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry. Her educational background is health science from Centennial College.
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