Conestoga news

December 19, 2018 2:04 PM

Training program delivers cost savings for FGF Brands

Corporate training delivered by Conestoga’s Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) will result in significant cost savings for North York-based food processor FGF Brands.

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Employees from FGF Brands attended a three-day training program at Conestoga's Pilot Plant. The skills and knowledge they acquired will help the company significantly reduce its costs.

Nearly 30 employees comprised of leads from seven FGF plants participated in a three-day Advanced Cleaning and Sanitation Practices course that provided them with in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of effective cleaning and sanitation practices. Participants performed testing of cleaning agents, practised cleaning and sanitation tasks and assessed the efficacy of cleaning and sanitation procedures on actual food manufacturing lines.

“We initiated the training because we wanted our sanitation team to understand why they clean and to know they are an integral part of food safety,” said Christa Lovelock, FGF’s vice president, Quality, Food Safety & Sanitation. “The feedback has been fabulous. Our team loved the course and said they’d like additional training.”

FGF employees completed their training on-site at Conestoga’s IFPT Pilot Plant at the Cambridge campus. The 8,000 square-foot plant features processing lines for beverages, baked goods and vegetables, as well as a food testing laboratory. The facility is the only one of its kind in Canada and supports one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the province: training opportunities are provided in a variety of areas including food safety, food processing techniques, packaging and plant supervision.

“We tailored the course to specifically meet FGF’s needs,” explained Luis Garcia, chair, Institute of Food Processing Technology and Trades and Apprenticeship (Millwright). “At the request of FGF we also included a project component to the training that employees were required to complete back at their plants. I attended the presentations and the projects were impressive - the teams found simple measures to streamline various tasks and operations that could save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Lovelock said one presentation focused on revamping SSOPs (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures) while another proposed changes to the way filters are cleaned.

“These are measures that will benefit the environment, but also provide a cost savings,” said Lovelock.

FGF is one of North America's largest and fastest growing baking companies, focused on providing baked goods to foodservice and retailers across North America.

Another ten FGF employees will begin training at Conestoga in February.

Visit Conestoga’s website for more information about the Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing Technology.