On the 7th July 2014 I started my 7 week journey working at one of the world’s leading dairy facilities. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work at Arla to gain industry experience in all the different aspects of the organisation.
Before I started my secondment, someone said this statement to me, “be a sponge Laura, just soak up all the information’” – and I can honestly say that is truly what I did.
My first week consisted of an induction programme covering all of these areas listed below:
Milk Process and Production
Cream Process and Production
Quality and Laboratory
Environment, Health and Safety
The remaining 6 weeks of my secondment was split by spending 2 weeks working in milk process, 2 weeks in cream process and 2 weeks in the cottage cheese. At these times I worked closely with the technicians based in each of the areas. I gained an insight to the day-to-day processes from start to finish, establishing how products are made to meet customer needs. At times I operated the machines via the control rooms and other times I was out in the factory doing manual work e.g. mixing in powders to make flavoured milk or testing the cottage cheese pH levels. I learnt about new technologies which included systems like Tetra Plantmaster, Master Production and Alfast. I also became familiar with SAP (systems, applications and products).
As well as working in the dairy I also had the opportunity to see other aspects of the food supply chain. I went to collect raw milk from farms for an afternoon, which was very interesting for me to see where the process of production starts. Also, I saw the other side of the process by delivering milk to supermarkets from 4am in the morning! This was very worthwhile for me.
I have to be very thankful to Reaseheath and to Arla for making my secondment an amazing experience and one I will not forget.