The Inside Scoop - Technical
We caught up with Kitty, Technical Placement Student at our Newton Abbot site, about what it's like at Yeo Valley.

Can you tell us a bit about your role at Yeo Valley?

Firstly, I love it! This was my first proper experience of working in the food industry and it’s made me realise how I certainly want to stick with it.

The beginning of my placement started with introductions and shadowing people from all around the factory. I learnt the ropes and was just amazed how friendly everyone was!

As I’ve settled into my role, I’ve taken on responsibilities surrounding packaging and raw materials including onsite investigations, helping organise the internal and food safety audits, dealing with customer complaints, new artwork checks and delivery problems. I have been able to do a few projects so far by myself on various areas, such as temperature verification, raw material consistency checks, shelf life extension and swabbing.

What attracted you to apply for a Technical Placement here?

I have always loved Yeo Valley’s products and I've known the company for a while. I was attracted to the placement because of their approach they had towards training me up and not just leaving me to do projects alone. They placed an emphasis on keeping the placement broad which is great if you are not fully certain on where you want to specialise within the Food Industry.

Can you give us an insight into what you and the team are working on currently?

I've just finished collecting and presenting the data from my shelf life extension project, which will hopefully result in extending the shelf life and reducing waste of certain inclusions used in our desserts.

Recently I have been dealing with a particular new design of labels on our boxes of packaging. I have been liaising with IT to update our system to suit this new design. A new skill I have learnt is how to lead sensory assessment which is required for all those who take part in taste panel.

What aspects of your placement at Yeo Valley do you most enjoy?

The team of people here are just great. Factory life is pretty special and unique - straight away I could tell how friendly everyone is here. It makes it a joy to come to work! I love how each day is different in the Technical Department, as you constantly respond to what issues are being raised throughout the day. It’s been great working with people around the factory.

If you were one of the delicious ice cream that Yeo Valley makes, which one would you be and why?

Hard question as there are so many to choose from! But if I had to choose one it would be Yeo Valley’s Frozen Blueberry Kefir – I love it! I have been known to eat it straight out of the was my first ice cream I tasted here at the factory, so it’s a nice reminder of the beginning of my placement.