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Four top tips for aspiring food industry leaders

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By Mike Stones+

Last updated the 22-Jul-2014 at 09:16 GMT

The Taste the Future event aimed to inspire a new generation of food industry leaders
The Taste the Future event aimed to inspire a new generation of food industry leaders

Be passionate: love what you do and who you do it for, was the top advice for young people aiming to be the food industry leaders of tomorrow, at an event staged recently by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The Taste the Future event in Liverpool, which was staged to inspire a new generation of food industry leaders, urged youngsters to take control by setting team goals and strategies, understand roles and responsibilities, and talk to others.

Setting goals was a key way of shaping a healthy and confident working culture, seminar delegates were told.

Good leaders

Good leaders also helped people to understand the organisation’s strategic vision, while guiding others to achieve their goals and ensuring efficient day-to-day operations.

Finally expert leaders were accomplished at building relationships and alliances with other people in their industry, and being open to feedback.

Speakers, who shared personal stories about their career paths, included: Martin Glenn, ceo of United Biscuits; Maria Whitehead, director of Hawkshead Relish and Sue Swanborough, human resources director of General Mills.

Swanborough said: “As a company, our whole ethos is about nourishing lives in everything we do, so we are delighted to support the Food and Drink Federation in its work to inspire the next generation of food and drink industry leaders.”

Steve Barnes, the FDF’s economics and commercial services director said future food industry leaders were given first-hand advice on career development. “Not only did delegates take away top tips on how to achieve their goals, speakers also covered some of the common mistakes made by people on their way up the career ladder,” said Barnes.

‘Career ladder’

The event was sponsored by General Mills and the International Festival for Business.

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group is searching for apprentices, technicians and graduates working in food and drink manufacturing to apply for the Young Talent Award – a new category of the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards (FMEAs).

We want to encourage more young people to take up a career in food and drink manufacturing by celebrating Britain’s brightest and best young industry talent.

Securing the next generation of new entrants has never been more important, with up to 137,000 new recruits needed to replace staff due to retire in the near future, according to Improve, the food and drink sector skills council.

So, if you think you have want it takes to win this award, or know a likely candidate, please consider an application. Winning the award promises to boost your career prospects and reflect well on your employer.

Meanwhile, the FMEA manufacturing categories and other award awards again seek to celebrate the best in British food and drink manufacturing. Entering the awards is both free and simple .

How to be a food industry leader

  1. Be passionate: love what you do and who you do it for
  2. Take control: set team goals and strategies in order to shape a healthy and confident working culture
  3. Understand roles and responsibilities: a leader gets people to understand a vision and helps others achieve their goals, and a manager ensures the day to day work is operating efficiently.
  4. Talk to others:  build relationships and alliances with other people in your industry, and be open to feedback.

Source: FDF

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