Teachers Get a Lesson in Chilling from Food Industry

Eight teachers will get a unique glimpse behind the scenes of one the region’s largest food manufacturers next week, Monday 6 February, to learn more about the production of chilled food.And they plan to take that knowledge back to the classroom to inspire budding food scientists of the future.

The visit, to Greencore’s Northampton site, will see the teachers from schools in Northants and Leicestershire* tour the factory floor and meet the teams responsible for producing up to 400,000 sandwiches and wraps every day. They will hear about food hygiene, storage and how new products are developed, giving them an insight into this fast moving sector of the food industry.

It is part of a UK-wide initiative from the Kettering-based CFA (the Chilled Food Association) to encourage more children and young people to think about careers in the production of chilled food. The new initiative, called Chilled Education (www.chillededucation.org), has been developed to address predicted skills shortages due to the lack of graduate recruits.

During the day teachers will gain first-hand experience of all aspects of chilled food production at Greencore and a chance to meet the experts. They will then be able to use their knowledge back in the classroom with the other free resources available from Chilled Education including innovative Glo-Germ kits, which memorably illustrate the importance of proper hand washing.

Helen Dixon, Greencore Northampton’s Business Compliance Manager explains the significance of the visit:“Greencore is seeing the pool of qualified and enthusiastic potential employees slowly drying up as fewer and fewer young people choose to take up food science as a subject.We also suffer from less than positive perceptions of working in the food industry where young people believe the pay and working conditions to be unfavourable. We want to change those unfounded perceptions and one way to do this is to give teachers, and students, first hand experience. We look forward to welcoming our visitors and playing our part in securing the future for the industry by nurturing the next generation of chilled food professionals.”

Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Secretary General adds: “Chilled food is a feature of most people’s everyday lives, from the lunch time ready-made sandwich to salads, fresh pasta, and fresh prepared meals. And more foods are being developed by companies with jobs on offer ranging from technical positions to packaging designers. Greencore is an important local and national employer and is part of a larger industry servicing a UK retail market of over £9bn.”

The Chilled Education resources have been developed by CFA in partnership with the Design and Technology Association; they will help get the lessons into schools across the UK through their UK-wide network of over 6,000 design and technology teachers.”

Notes to Editors 

* Teachers will be attending from: Bishop Stortford School; Elizabeth Woodville School; Moulton School; Manor School and Sponne School in Northants and Ashby School and Our Lady’s Convent School Leicestershire.

The lesson plans for teachers have been developed by CFA in partnership with the Design and Technology Association, the professional association representing those involved in design and technology education and associated subject areas(www.data.org.uk/cfa).

Chilled Education’s lesson plans were developed by InspireEducation with CFA.

2 February 2012