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News > Joan’s food career offers business solutions


Joan’s food career offers business solutions

December 17, 2020

When you hear about courses in food they aren’t just about production and cooking. The food industry offers a wide variety of career paths and courses offered through the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) open up lots of opportunities to students.

Loughry Campus graduate, Joan Gray graduated from CAFRE in June 2019 with an Ulster University validated BSc (Hons) Degree in Food Business Management. Joan, a past pupil of St Colms’ High School, Draperstown is employed as an Implementation Manager with Foods Connected, based in Londonderry.

Joan commented “The Foods Connected team aim to improve efficiency and simplify tasks for food businesses. As an Implementation Manager every day is different. I help to manage projects efficiently and effectively for our large manufacturing and retail customers. We thrive on innovation and forward thinking to ensure our customers have the controls in place to have the right suppliers, product and quality at the best price possible. We do this through solving everyday problems in the agri-food industry and replacing them with leading software solutions.”

Joan Gay Implementation Manager with Foods Connected

“I believe my studies at CAFRE prepared me well for the world of work. During the third year of my Honours Degree course I opted to complete a work placement year to attain a Diploma in Industrial Practice. I had the opportunity to experience two business environments; one with Karro Food Group, Cookstown and the other with the Lough Neagh Fisherman’s Co-Operative Society, Toomebridge. My work placements were very different and presented me with lots of chances to develop both my knowledge and skills. CAFRE’s work placement programme gives students a great opportunity to gain an insight into the functioning of a company and you benefit so much on your year out. It’s great to share your experiences with others when back at the college for your final year of study,” added Joan.

“I would strongly recommend the courses offered at CAFRE to anyone looking to follow a career in the food industry. Even if you don’t know what path you want your business career to take their courses open up so many opportunities – whether it’s in sales, marketing, distribution, procurement, retail, quality or like me project management – there are loads of options to consider. Studying at CAFRE certainly turned my general knowledge of food into specific interest and has supported me in my job with Foods Connected,” reflected Joan.

If you interested in finding out more about Food Degree courses at CAFRE, Loughry Campus visit: or call us free on 0800 028 4291.