Clare’s THORNICO Interview
I was asked by my Company Karma Colleague to do a little interview about the ‘Best of Two Worlds’ and here it is, Clare’s Thornico Interview!
Tell us a little bit about yourself (background, education, etc.)
I am originally from Yorkshire in the north of England where I went to school and then University. Studying Home Economics, was the natural path I think and I graduated and then worked in Product Development for several large food manufacturers.
I’ve always been a very keen cook. Being creative is something I love and making delicious food for friends and family
Why did you choose to work within the Food Ingredients industry?
After graduating both the food industry and the business world had my interest in equal measures! So it seemed like natural progression to work in the food industry. I strongly believe that to be successful you have to be interested in and passionate about what you do, otherwise what is the point?
What does your job entail, and what does a typical day for you look like?
Today I am the Business Development Director for Lactosan – Ovodan Uk Limited looking after both our Cheese Powder business and our Egg Powder business in the UK.
I manage the team here and am responsible for the running and functioning of this UK business. I am primarily a commercial person with a technical background in food science.
THORNICO INTERVIEW – Women in Business
How has your career developed? What have been your priorities? And what does it mean for you to now be Business Development Director at LSIG UK?
My first role in the food industry was in Product Development at various UK food manufacturing companies, as I progressed I gradually became more involved in the commercial side and eventually decided that I would like to sell and account manage.
So I joined Lactosan-Ovodan as Technical Sales Executive , came up through the ranks and today I am the Business Director after 23 years.
Have you always wanted to be a Director?
No I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision at all. I have always wanted to do the best that I possibly could. I am very passionate about what I do in all the areas of my life.
So I guess it was natural progression again.
I take my role very seriously here at Lactosan-Ovodan and feel totally responsible for our UK division; for all aspects and across all parameters; staff, customers, suppliers, business administration, financials, bottom line etc.
I thrive to achieve and deliver to our board.
Do you feel like you have had to compromise on other aspects of your life to reach career goals?
Probably, I have worked very hard and long hours over the last 23 years. I have also been away from home quite often travelling in UK and Europe. However for me personally this has not been a compromise as I like doing it.
I like the diversity, I like that no two days are ever the same. So the ‘compromise’ if you can call it that – is very worthwhile. This life wouldn’t suit everyone but it suits me perfectly.
Have you met any obstacles of being woman in the industry throughout your career? Have you had struggles that your male counterparts have not met?
Not really – sometimes it is quite strange that people naturally think that if the UK Business Director turns up – I will be male. Or if someone calls the office and asks for the Director – they ask to be put through to ‘him.’ I find it very funny – one day maybe this won’t be an issue .
Do you see any advantages or disadvantages of being a woman in top management?
I see the advantages, I strongly believe in a balanced team – whether by gender, age, experience, style – by whatever.
I’m not sure I agree with the myth of gender specific character traits. You need many different types of people to create a good strong team.
To have a wide spectrum of these elements enables one to have a vast ‘bank’ of ideas and opinions on all subjects, to see the whole picture. Is gender still an issue? Well not for me anyway.
I believe things have moved on enormously and the world of business is much more diverse now.
Business people have to be more empathetic, more culturally aware and sensitive – more willing to collaborate, too.
What I do dislike is when women in senior positions seem to want to be aggressive and ‘act like men.’(??) This is just not necessary and the only point they need to prove is performing well in their role.
Are there certain things that have helped you, as a woman, to reach your career goals? What has been your motivation and driver?
I think I am quite reasoned, understanding, organized, sometimes quite impatient– if those are gender traits I’m not sure?
My motivation is my personal desire to do the best I possibly can.
How can we (as Thornico and in general) attract more women to develop their careers and reach top management in business?
I think we need to move away form the gender issues. We need to encourage a wide variety of character types into an organization – we need to push and develop our people to reach the levels they want to and their full potential.
I believe we as Thornico are good at that.
THORNICO INTERVIEW – Food Waste
You have a blog – tell us a little bit about it? (Why did you start it, what is your motivation? Etc.)
My Blog is called easypeasy-lemonsqueezy.co.uk – it’s where I share easy recipes for both food and cocktails and recently a lifestyle part.
I started the blog as a means of collating all my personal recipes and having them all in one place – so I can share them.
We lost a few recipes when we lost a loved one – as often happens. A
nd from there the book and the website was born – today we have over 3000 followers across various social media platforms and it really is a place to share – we share the good the bad and the ugly in life. And now it’s the perfect forum to promote and discuss various topics.
My motivation comes from seeing people cook and bake my recipes and to see photos etc. of the kids cooking! I love it!
I am a firm believer that we should educate our kids and a fundamental part of this should be teaching them how to cook and all the social aspects that come with that.
On the blog, you promote different initiatives related to food and food waste – can you elaborate on these?
Waste of any kind is my pet hate. I was invited through my blogging to get involved with a UK driven campaign called ‘Love Food Hate Waste.’ So far we have covered bread.
(Here’s a fact – EVERY single day in the UK we throw away 24 Million slices of Bread, yes that’s right 24 Million slices!!……..
How can that happen?).
I have just finished a Meat campaign and again the stats are equally as shocking.
How can we throw a beautifully raised living creature in the bin? We throw away the equivalent to 300 million beef burgers a year, according to figures by LFHW -alternatively if you want that stat in *steak* well that’s 150 million steaks! – in the bin!)
Why are these subjects important to you?
The average person in the UK wastes around £200/year by buying and then throwing away good food and drink. This rises to £470 for the average household and £700 for a family with children!!!
That’s a lot of cash; never mind the 17Mt of CO2! This is why it’s important to me.
Does the things you write on your blog relate to what you do in your job? Are there things you have learned in your job that has helped you with your blog, and vice versa?
Definitely I am totally absorbed both personally and work wise in the food industry – I follow trends and that affects both my work life and the blog – they are perfect harmony!
I have also worked on some Ovodan Blends which was also great and the honey from the Thornico Building in Holland.
How can we make more people aware and act on these issues?
Education – we need to make people aware of the waste and that’s what the Love Food Hate Waste Campaigns are all about and that’s why I’m involved! It also has to be collaborative.
We all need to do those little things to make the big difference to the waste issue. And do we need a perfectly shaped carrot? I don’t think so – my ugly one tastes just the same ☺
If should give one single advice of how to change our habits in terms of food waste, what should it be?
Plan! Plan! and Plan again! – try and plan your meals and buy your produce accordingly – that way, your food stuff will get used and you won’t find that pack of bacon at the back of your fridge which expired 10 days ago.
Before you throw it in the bin – think – can I use it? Bread for example can be made into breadcrumbs and popped in the freezer
I hope you enjoyed Clare’s THORNICO Interview – I enjoyed it!