Chilled Food Associates

A food industry resource


Getting Children Skilled in Chilled!
The predicted skills shortage in the rapidly-expanding chilled food manufacturing industry has prompted the Chilled Food Association (CFA) to take action by tackling the issue at classroom level, with a unique set of resources, developed by teachers and industry specialists.
Available online from today (12 September 2011) is a comprehensive set of lesson plans and supporting material for CFA members’ use with children aged five to 16. By bringing industry professionals and young inquiring minds together CFA hopes to inform, educate and inspire children in all areas of the dynamic and diverse chilled food sector.
The site also carries careers information including interviews with recent graduates now working in the chilled sector and more than 30 real job descriptions.
CFA members and teachers will also be able to use a range of free resources to make the lessons lively and informative. CFA is providing 10,000 fridge thermometers and 500 innovative Glo-Germ kits, which memorably illustrate the importance of proper hand washing, to light-hearted videos that make serious points about correct handling of chilled foods. And lessons will cover every aspect of chilled food production from new product development to packaging and marketing.
The resources for teachers also being launched today at have been developed by CFA in partnership with the Design and Technology Association; they will help get the lessons into schools across the UK through their UK-wide network of over 6,000 design and technology teachers.
CFA is also providing STEM Ambassadors, whose network of 28,000 volunteers from the science and technology industries work with young people, to inspire interest in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Secretary General is keen for as many schools as possible to benefit from Chilled Education: “The chilled food industry is the UK’s fastest growing retail food sector and so most likely to suffer from the shortage of food science graduates. We also know that young people’s perceptions of working in the food industry are not very positive, but their preconceptions around pay and working conditions are unfounded. By working with children from a young age we want to inspire them, spark their curiosity in food and show them how relevant and attractive the chilled food industry is. We believe our initiative will be a significant contribution to the Food Supply Chain Skills Action Plan.”
Chilled Education has been well received by the industry, receiving the support of the Science Council, Association for Science Education (ASE) and the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Bob Martin of the Food Standards Agency said: "We welcome the launch of the Chilled Education website as a resource that can help people to understand what is involved in making chilled foods safely, as well as providing useful information about key food safety subjects.”
Chilled Education is part of CFA’s wider initiative to boost industry recruitment. Earlier this year the Association funded students to attend the University of Nottingham’s Food Science Summer School