Rewarding Careers

You may not know it, but the products you like to pop into your basket are there because of the efforts of literally thousands of people working in different industries in the UK food chain.

And our industry is the vital link in that food chain, because we take what's grown by farmers and turn it into the products that are sold by retailers and caterers to their customers.

Careers in the food Industry

Given the choice now available in supermarkets and catering establishments, you will not be surprised to learn that manufacturing is an incredibly diverse sector. For instance: did you know there are something like 6,500 food and drink manufacturing companies in the UK alone? Or that most of them employ fewer than 10 people? That's why we have members large and small, involved in making everything from organic muesli to carbonated soft drinks.

Our industry is focused on delivering what consumers want and we have excelled when it comes to meeting your demands for convenience, variety and choice; for products that offer health and nutrition benefits.

The food and drink manufacturing sector offers a wide range of rewarding and exciting career opportunities in engineering, environmental management, regulatory affairs, marketing, product development, etc.

Therefore, as a first step, towards raising awareness of the industry, SFDF produced five best practice film case studies a short careers film called A World of Opportunities showcasing a range of careers within this dynamic industry.

A highly-skilled and innovative workforce is essential if we are to continue to be regarded as a world class food and drink manufacturing country and if we are to be able to drive growth & deliver success in the future.

Therefore, our next step is to enthuse school children by providing them with an opportunity to learn about this key sector.

Having secured grant funding from the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland, SFDF will now develop and roll out a 2 year programme in primary and secondary schools across Scotland.

The national programme aims to increase the level of ongoing engagement between industry and education; demonstrate the industry's broader relevance within the Curriculum; inspire school pupils and help them to make the connection between the food on their plates; what they are learning in school; skills and qualifications; and employment in the food and drink manufacturing sector.


SFDF members talk about their experiences in the industry

Elaine Tewnion, Baxters Brand Manager, Baxters Food Group
“Taste is like fashion – it's continually changing. A challenge? Yes. But it's one that I relish and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a career in a fast changing, dynamic market.”
Alison MacDonald, Senior Food Technologist, Baxters Food Group
”The position I have at Baxters is probably my dream job. I get to work with the finest food ingredients. I regularly get to see products that I created on shelves across the globe. It's fantastic – a really rewarding job.”
Philip Annadale, Envionmental Manager at Macphie of Glenbervie
“I have been involved in the installation of Scotland's first industrial biomass energy plant. This has given me a real sense of achievement as this new facility reduces our carbon footprint while bringing security of energy for key manufacturing processes.”
Jo Macsween, Director, Macsween of Edinburgh
“Our industry offers many exciting career opportunities but how many people understand what a food technologist does? The film highlights the many and varied career options available, told by passionate and knowledgeable people in our dynamic industry.”
Ewan Reid, Technical Director, Matthew Algie
“From purchasing and technical, through to operations and marketing, there really is something for everyone. Scotland is particularly fortunate to be able to boast a large and healthy food industry featuring a broad range of food businesses”
Phil Sung, Quality Assurance Assistant, Matthew Algie
“I got the chance to do a work placement at coffee roasters Matthew Algie. I then joined as a QA Assistant and I'm continually learning new things. I'm a very lucky guy and would recommend the food and drink industry to anyone”
Alison Law, Development Manager at premium seafood suppliers Pinneys of Scotland (part of The Seafood Company)
“Food scientists and technologists are the lifeblood of the food and drink industry. We create new products, improve existing lines, scrutinise nutritional content… the list goes on. It's very rewarding to see products that you created in a shopping basket.”

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