Bryony McHale – Florette Technical Manager

Bryony McHale, Florette Technical Manager took part in our new series ‘Me and My Job’ to talk to us about her current role, what it’s like to work at Florette and more!

Job Title?

Florette Technical Manager

How long have you worked for Florette?

8 years!

Describe a typical day?

I am responsible for food safety and quality compliance. This means that when things go wrong I’m responsible for figuring out how to resolve it.

A quality issue could be that the lamb’s lettuce doesn’t meet our high quality standards. I have to consider a few options such as: can the quality be improved by for example washing, can we sort the leaves and use the just the leaves that are good quality? or do I need to reject the product completely. I then need to consider how these decisions may impact product availability for our customers and consumers.

What other roles you’ve had at Florette?

I started on a fixed term contract as QA assistant on night shifts. I was then taken on permanently for day shifts, then I was promoted to QA manager then to technical manager.

What are your career aspirations?

To continue in this role honing my skills and knowledge, longer term I would love to progress but I’m very happy in the role that I’m in now.

What is your favourite part of your job?

The variety, I’m never bored. I like that I’m involved in lots of different areas of the factory e.g. I’m not just in packing, trimming etc.

What is the least favourite part of your job?

When things can’t be fixed straight away and it’s hard to find a solution. My job is about improvement so when things go wrong its difficult. One thing that took a bit of getting used to is the fact the factory is a fridge! As the product is fresh and chilled it’s essential that we maintain the chill chain right up to the point where it makes it to the consumers fridge. Layers are essential!

What do you like about working for Florette?

The culture, people are friendly everyone says hi to you. There’s a ‘learn from mistakes’ mentality rather than a blame culture. The focus on employee development: Florette approached me and offered to pay for me to do a masters degree in Food Industry Management from Harper Adams University which is the UK’s agricultural university. I’ve also had lots of other training that’s helped understand the overall business.

How had COVID impacted your role?

Most of team has been affected in terms of not being able to all be in together as they were before, the whole team has been in for one week this year. Naturally morale has been affected because of this and as their manager it’s been my job to try and boost this. Everyone has been really stretched as workload has had to be split and shared. We are a food factory and it is imperative that we continue to deliver our products to consumers and ensure that our high quality standards are up-held.

What do you do for fun outside of Florette?

In a non-COVID ideal world, I love being in the sun reading doing nothing chilling. I also really value being with family. I don’t have any family local to me so spending time with them is important to me.

How would you describe yourself in 5 ways?

I try to have maintain a positive-mental-attitude, I’m generally calm under pressure, I’m very organized as I like to get things done. I’d say I have good patience and that I’m good at listening to people.

Favourite meal?

Pizza, just cheese pizza. You can’t beat it.

Favourite drink?

Vodka and Pepsi-max, also lots of Tea.

Which celebrity would you most like to meet?

Scarlett Johansen!

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