Food Industry Looking for Young Recruits
A joint initiative in the
U.K. by its Food & Drink Federation (FDF), Institute
for Grocery Distribution (IGD), National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and National
Skills Academy (NSA) plans to "focus on improving the sector’s
image and identifying gaps in training," according to The Grocer magazine. A
new campaign from the FDF, Taste Success, "aims to show potential entrants
that the U.K. food and drink manufacturing sector is a ‘career of first choice.’"
booklet Busting the Myths provides case studies addressing such
misunderstandings as the sector being out of date and old fashioned without
any career opportunities, full of people without qualifications working for "big
companies churning out processed foods" and paying "peanuts."
careers as "stimulating, innovative and fast-moving," the
FDF states: "Consumers are more concerned than ever about healthy eating,
therefore the industry needs to attract the right people into the sector, now
and in the future, who have the appropriate skills and attitude to cope with
the growing demands of the public, both at home and globally, to produce food
that is safe and of good quality."
On a more encouraging note, the Institute
of Food Technologists (IFT) just announced that the number of students graduating
with food science degrees had almost doubled in the U.S. since 2004. According
the group attributed the gains to "an increased interest in food in general
… boosted by the rise of celebrity chefs, diet-related health issues and
greater awareness of contemporary food movements, such as organic, local and
sustainable food systems."
Still, a recent survey of 10,306 young professionals — defined
as college graduates with one to eight years of work experience — from
the consulting firm Universum found that Google was the most desired company
to work for, followed by Apple, Walt Disney, the U.S. Department of State and
Amazon. Only a few food and beverage companies made
the top 150 list of ideal employers: The Coca-Cola Company, 21; Anheuser-Busch,
44; PepsiCo, 48; Nestlé USA,
69; Kraft Foods, 76; and Campbell Soup Co., 132.
- "Change the world through food" says new campaign to lure young
talent – The Grocer
- Busting the Myths – Careers in food and drink manufacturing – Food & Drink
- Careers: Taste Success – A Future in Food – Food & Drink Federation
- Foodie culture boosts food science interest, says IFT – foodnavigator.com
- Google Is No. 1 on List of Desired Employers – The Wall
- Universum’s Top 150 Ideal Employers – The Wall Street Journal
Discussion Questions: Is the food and drink industry in the U.S. losing young talent to other sectors? How can food companies do a better job attracting college recruits?