Everyone enjoys eating food, but not many people think about what all goes into getting that piece of meat or processed snack onto your table or in your lunch box. Like any other industry there are countless different entities all working in conjunction from the collection of individual ingredients all the way to the final product that you buy in the store and consume. While there are too many to name them all specifically, here are three food production jobs that many times get overlooked, but serve vital functions in the food service industry.
1.) Manufacturing/Production: After the actual collection, harvesting, or hunting of resources, food manufacturing jobs are right at the beginning of the process. The average production worker in the United States makes around $11.95 per hour. While not the most glory-filled or profitable job, these are the people that use food processing equipment to preserve and package foods in the appropriate way so they can be shipped and stored until ready to serve.
2.) Packaging: One of the industries that works very closely with the manufacturing and production workers is that of packaging. These are the people that make the materials to put the food in. Specifically, nowadays flexible packaging is becoming the most prevalent way to pack and store food products. Overall, the flexible packaging industry directly employs approximately 79,000 people and the largest market for flexible packaging is food (retail and institutional), accounting for about 58% of shipments. Workers in food production jobs wouldn’t be able to do their jobs without the right packaging to put it all in.
3.) Shipping/Distribution: Finally, one of the more visible food production jobs involves the actual shipping and distribution of the products. Companies such as Sysco Foods have large warehouses they store the packaged food products in and utilize and army of tractor trailers to deliver them to restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. Inside the warehouses the material handling aspect of these jobs can be grueling as a lot of times it consists of lifting heavy boxes repeatedly.
The actual manufacturing process is only part of the grand scheme of things when talking about food production jobs. Take a second to think about these things the next time you sit down to enjoy a delicious meal.