The food and drink manufacturing sector is the largest ones in EU and among those more important in many countries of other continents. It represents the largest job market place for HE graduates in food and food-related disciplines, professionals, as well as practitioners with Vocational Education and Training (VET) with technical expertise on food quality and production related aspects.
It comprises industrial players of different sizes (small, medium, large, multinational), involved in the food preparation and processing starting from the raw materials and ingredients production, up to the distribution and retail. It involves also other food processing -related sectors (e.g. packaging).
Products range is rather wide, from bakery and confectionery to vegetable, beverages and convenience foods. Food technologists or engineers play an essential role in the chain of managing processes, people, equipment, supply and distribution and guarantee high quality and safe food for consumer.
Societal, environmental and technological changes drive food producers towards continuous improvements, new products, automation, optimization of production to increase efficiency and deliver higher volumes, while keeping quality and safety and promote the sustainability .
Understanding the main issues of the sector as “a whole” and how the “food system” works is a pre-requisite for any people working in it.