Career Conversations: ‘The food sector needs people’

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“I was worried at the time. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

Kate Halliwell was in her twenties and, despite studying biochemistry at Oxford, she wasn’t sure which career path to follow.

So she upped sticks and went travelling for two years. “I refer to it as my quarter-life crisis,” she tells Elisa Roche in this episode of the Career Conversations series.

It wasn’t long before Kate was back in academia, gaining a Masters in nutrition, which led to civil servant roles and eventually, to joining the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

In this episode, Kate talks about National Apprenticeship Week, something the FDF is keenly involved in.

“The food sector as a whole needs new people to join,” Kate says, adding that there’s work to be done to educate people about the diversity of roles on offer.

She also points out that many of the jobs that exist are high-skilled as food manufacturing is “becoming effectively high technology”.

Listen on to find out all about what the FDF does, learn more about Kate’s role, and be inspired to keep plugging away until you find the career that’s right for you.

Kate Halliwell, Chief Scientific Officer, Food and Drink Federation

Kate is accountable for the FDF’s food safety, food law and labelling, and diet and health policy briefs.

The role involves extensive liaison with food and drink manufacturing companies to develop cross-industry policy positions and responding to scientific consultations. 

Previously Kate led the FDF’s diet and health policy work, and before that worked for the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency on a range of nutrition and legislation policies. 

Kate is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and is a registered nutritionist. 

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