MY name is Natalie Suttle and I work as a Food Technologist in Scott’s Bakery, Fivemiletown.
I chose to study at the Loughry Campus of CAFRE as I have always been interested in food, specifically how it is manufactured in the commercial environment and how products are technically developed to meet the needs of consumers.
I left school after my A-Levels and was delighted to secure a place on the two-year Foundation degree in Food Manufacture. I subsequently completed an honours degree, also at Loughry in Food Technology, awarded by Ulster University. These courses covered a wide variety of topics, including Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology, Processing Design, Food Packaging and an industrial placement.
The experience of working directly on products for retailers provided me with a wider understanding of the food manufacturer and the retailer relationship and the practical technical aspects of food production and packaging.
I graduated in 2015 and was subsequently employed by Scotts Bakery. This family-run business was established in the late 1960s, initially specialising in traditional fairy cakes but has now developed an extensive range of unique products for discerning consumers.
In Scotts I now have responsibility for production efficiencies and am an Account Manager for one of our biggest retail customers. No two days are ever the same. I am always busy and so the working day flies!
On reflection, my studies in CAFRE have been invaluable in my everyday work, as these educational programmes provided both the theoretical and practical aspects of food production, which I now depend on. I would endorse these courses to anyone who is interested in food production and a lifelong career in the food industry.
There are many challenges presented by the dynamic world of food production, however I am confident that I have the underpinning knowledge and skills to address these objectively.