ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre’s HELIX Knowledge Transfer Programme employs part-funded technical and New Product Development (NPD) affiliates and embeds them in Welsh food and drink manufacturers for at least a year with support from ZERO2FIVE.
The scheme provides an opportunity for affiliates to develop the knowledge, behaviours and skills needed for a management career in the food and drink industry whilst the company benefits from a technical member of staff who is supported by the experienced team at ZERO2FIVE.
Amy Hinchly has been working at Prima Foods as a technical affiliate since March 2021. Based in Llanelli, Prima Foods specialises in the manufacture of suet, dumplings and pastry products. The company supplies the retail, ready meal component and foodservice sectors and has a number of major UK manufacturing customers.
Here, Amy tells us about her experiences of the HELIX Knowledge Transfer Programme and why you should consider applying:
I have a degree in BSc Food and Nutrition from Sheffield Hallam University. As part of my degree, I completed a year in industry at Allied Bakeries as a new product development (NPD) technologist within the customer brand team. Whilst at Allied Bakeries, I worked on existing product development and NPD briefs for some of the big four retailers, led my own project on hot cross bun innovation and even spent some time working in the quality assurance team at one of the bakeries. I really enjoyed my placement year and I finished university keen to explore the technical side of the food industry.
My role at Prima Foods
I am an Assistant Technical Manager. My daily role is to continually improve standards and monitor hygiene, quality and food safety issues. This involves maintaining and reviewing all aspects of the company’s quality management system (BRCGS compliant), monitoring good manufacturing practices in the factory, dealing with any non-conformances, assisting with the maintenance of the supplier approval system, writing product specifications, completing internal audits and assisting with customer queries and third-party audits. Recently, I led the hiring process for two new members of the technical team. I am also currently undertaking a risk assessment of our cleaning validation with support from ZERO2FIVE. Next on the agenda in terms of projects are cooking validations.
My key learnings from my programme
The cleaning validation risk assessment project has been really fulfilling, as I know I will be able to see that my work will improve the efficiency of our environmental swabbing schedule. I have learnt a great deal about risk assessing, trending data and I’ve definitely improved my Excel skills from this project. It has been great to work closely with ZERO2FIVE on this and be able to bounce ideas off each other - the knowledge and experience of my mentor is hugely valuable.
What I enjoy most about my role
I enjoy that I work within a relatively small company as it allows me to get involved in a variety of different tasks that I may not be exposed to in a bigger business. My favourite thing is seeing a project through from start to finish, so I am really grateful that I have had support from ZERO2FIVE to be able to do this.
My thoughts on the HELIX Knowledge Transfer Programme
I would definitely recommend the affiliate programme. The ZERO2FIVE technical team have a wealth of experience in industry, so it’s great to be able to get relevant knowledge and information from them. I look forward to my fortnightly visits from my mentor and really appreciate that they are also always there on email or phone if I need support.
Apply for our latest HELIX Knowledge Transfer Programme vacancies, here.