Kerryn James

Kerryn James

Production & Process Manager, The FoodBowl

In a nutshell: Managing the manufacturing operations for FoodBowl, a food innovation centre where companies can produce commercial runs of new products for trial marketing.

Why? "It is incredibly fast paced and diverse. We are exposed to far more processes that you would be at almost any other manufacturer. No two days are the same!"

Pathway: Forest View High School, final year subjects: Calculus, Chemistry, English, History, Physics, Statistics
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Technology (Honours), specialising in Food Technology

Earning: $40-50,000 starting salary

I always wanted to do something science based and had grown up cooking so had a real appreciation for food. The two were a natural career mix.

My degree required 30 weeks' industry experience. I worked for two summers at Carter Holt Harvey in Tokoroa which gave me an introduction to large scale operations. During another summer I worked in the quality systems team at PPCS Marlborough, a meat processing plant.

The FoodBowl enables manufacturers to produce products and conduct trials before investing in their own equipment. We work with a huge variety of foods and beverages, manufacturing processes and different people.

I meet with clients to discuss their project, develop a process for making the product using our equipment, and ensure we comply with regulations. I manage a team of process engineers, maintenance engineers, warehouse supervisors, process technicians and cleaners, as well as contractors.

Being a small company (less than 20 people) means there is scope for making an impact and having your voice heard. We work closely together to come up with creative processing solutions for clients who are producing new products.

I have developed a range of products over the years for companies such as Griffins, Gu Puds (UK), Greencore (UK) and Delmaine. My pride and joy is the Delmaine Smoked Manuka BBQ Sauce which quickly became one of the top selling items in Delmaine's range.

The FoodBowl was created to aid New Zealand's economic development. Our goal is to increase food and beverage exports by providing a way for companies to get established or conduct trials without the financial outlay they would otherwise need.

I spent five years working in London in various patisseries and bakeries as part of their product development teams. In this job we regularly travel to Australia for training courses and trade shows.

Posted May 2017

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Food Science or Technology

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