Meet Head of Food Technology, Will
We spoke to Head of Food Technology, Will, to learn more about his role and why M&S is the 'Top Gun' of food technology.
Hi Will, tell us more about your role at M&S
I’m one of the Heads of Food Technology within M&S Foods.
My responsibilities span across four main areas. Firstly, the technical operations. This is where we set our policies, standards, testing and audit programmes. It's the real governance heart of food technology. The second part of my role is looking after the International Food Technology team. This team works with our international partners across the globe to bring safe and great quality M&S products to our customers internationally. Thirdly, I look after the health and nutrition team. They work with our category teams to champion our health strategy to bring new, innovative products to market. And finally, I take responsibility for the delivery of the packaging strategy through the talented Packaging team where we're transforming the sustainability, innovation and quality of our packaging.
What do you love about your role?
I love the variety of my role. One minute we could be talking about how we're going to drive product quality with our suppliers. The next we could be thinking about how we're going to be engaging with NGOs and Government agencies. No two days are the same. We get involved in everything from product safety, to product quality, to ESG projects. It makes every day exciting!
If you weren’t in your current role, what role at M&S and would you like to try?
I have to say, there is no better job. As a trained Food Technologist, I really value being a professional in the specialist area I work in. I use my experience and knowledge of food technology every day in my role and I get to work with the best food technologists in the industry, in the best technical function in the industry, working for an amazing retailer. I'm really pleased with where I am and I think I've got the best job in UK retail!
Tell us more about your career so far
It’s fair to say my career path has been relatively linear. I've always really admired people who are able to move across functions, but for me I know my passion is and has always been food technology.
My advice for those considering a career in food technology would be to dream big and work hard. Fast forward 22 years since I was a graduate and wow, what a journey. I now sit in a leadership group helping to develop strategy for the best loved Food retailer in the UK .
What is your proudest career moment?
It has to be the work that we did to transform our animal welfare strategy at M&S. Working as a category team, we transitioned our pork range to 100% Outdoor bred, developed a strategic partnership with the RSPCA and set in place the project that transitioned our chicken to the higher welfare Oakham Gold. I will always be incredibly proud of what we achieved and the positive impact this has on millions of animals every year.
Why did you originally apply for a job with M&S?
I’ve always admired M&S. It's a business that has been at the top of its game for decades. As a food technologist you know this is the place where the very best people in our industry choose to work. It’s a bit cheesy but it’s the the 'Top Gun' of Food Technology - make it at M&S and you can make it anywhere.
I have learnt a huge amount during my 3 years here, but I have also been able to share my experience and bring new thinking and ideas to ensure that M&S stays at the top for years to come.
What makes M&S special?
There are a loads of things that make M&S a special place to work. In my area of the business, there are three things that really stand out.
Quality - We have a passion for quality that is second to none in retail, we truly live and breathe this day in and day out.
Technical Standards – M&S has the best Food Technologists in the UK and, arguably, in the world. We have a history of driving technical standards in the supply base and always leading from the front.
Our commitment to Plan A and our work on sustainable food production - Whether is developing demonstration farms to showcase improvements in biodiversity or developing lower carbon impact farming, we all take a huge amount of pride in doing the right thing.
And finally, what’s your favourite M&S product?
My favourite M&S product is our range of Indian meals. From Chicken Dhansak to Lamb Rogan Josh, garlic naan and pilau rice, our range can’t be beaten and there are even some amazing Eat Well options for that mid week treat.
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