Processing and Commercialising

Processing and Commercialising


Not everybody working in the primary industries is actually based on an orchard, forest, fishing boat or farm. Many roles involve taking what’s been harvested – meat, wool, milk, fish, logs, cereals, fruit and vegetables – and adding value by processing them into finished products that we can use, consume, and export overseas.

Technologists, engineers and scientists have a critical role to play in this part of the primary industries. They help New Zealand to find, develop and export sustainable, safe and innovative food and fibre products

Commercialisation is the process of introducing a new product to the market. It involves research & development to develop new ideas and create innovative products; feasibility exploration to make sure that the product is suitable and can be made economically; and marketing and distribution for domestic and international markets.

Quality assurance is important, especially to make sure products meet the requirements of domestic and export markets.

Some of the key roles include:

  • Food technologists work out how to turn milk, vegetables, fruit and fish into new food and drink products.
  • Laboratory technicians test samples to optimise processing and measure nutrient levels.
  • Microbiologists test products for unhelpful micro-organisms – such as bacteria and fungi – and use good ones to make cheese, yoghurt and beer.
  • Process engineers and technologists figure out the most efficient ways to process raw materials.
  • Material scientists and technologists develop new materials, such as biodegradable plastics from wood fibres.
  • Automation engineers work on the systems that run big machines in factories.
  • Agricultural scientists research ways to grow better crops, pasture grasses and farm animals.
  • Horticultural scientists breed new and disease-resistant varieties of crops such as apples and kiwifruit.
  • Forest scientists research forest growth, wood processing, conservation and different types of trees.

Employers in this area include:

  • Food processors like Fonterra, Sealord and Heinz Wattie’s
  • Timber, pulp and paper mills
  • Government science agencies such as AgResearch, Plant & Food Research, Scion and Callaghan Innovation
  • Private companies engaged in research & development work

Key tertiary qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Chemical, Biological, Bioprocess or Process Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science or Applied Science, specialising in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Forestry Science, Geology, Horticulture, Marine Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology or Plant Science
  • Bachelor of Food Technology, Bachelor of Science in Food Science

Required and recommended school subjects:

  • Calculus (required for Engineering, Food Technology)
  • Chemistry (required for Chemical & Process Engineering, Food Technology)
  • Physics (required for Engineering, Food Technology)
  • Agricultural or Horticultural Science
  • Statistics & Modelling
  • English

Job roles in this industry

  • Agricultural or Horticultural Scientist

    Agricultural or Horticultural Scientist

    Agricultural or Horticultural Technician

    Agricultural or Horticultural Technician

    Biotechnologist

    Biotechnologist

    Chemical & Process Engineer

    Chemical & Process Engineer
  • Chemist

    Chemist

    Food Safety (QA) Officer

    Food Safety (QA) Officer

    Food Scientist

    Food Scientist

    Food Technologist

    Food Technologist
  • Forestry Scientist

    Forestry Scientist

    Microbiologist

    Microbiologist

    Operation or Production Engineer

    Operation or Production Engineer

    Robotics or Automation Engineer

    Robotics or Automation Engineer

Companies and organisations in this industry

  • Harraways
    Harraways
    AgResearch
    AgResearch
    Zespri International
    Zespri International
    Sealord
    Sealord
  • Dairy Goat Cooperative
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
    Constantia Foods
    Constantia Foods
    Silver Fern Farms
    Silver Fern Farms
    Scion
    Scion
  • Plant & Food Research
    Plant & Food Research
    GEA Group
    GEA Group
    LHTDesign
    LHTDesign
    Frucor
    Frucor
  • Haden & Custance Ltd
    Haden & Custance Ltd
    Oji Fibre Solutions
    Oji Fibre Solutions
    McCain Foods (NZ)
    McCain Foods (NZ)
    Heinz Wattie's
    Heinz Wattie's
  • Callaghan Innovation
    Callaghan Innovation
    Fonterra
    Fonterra
    Westland Milk Products
    Westland Milk Products
    Hubbards Foods
    Hubbards Foods

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