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Come fry with me: travelling foodies take to the road – University of Reading

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Come fry with me: travelling foodies take to the road

Release Date 27 November 2006

A University of Reading professor has teamed up with Sainsbury's to encourage more young people to start a career in food technology after a 25 per cent drop in new recruits. Professor Christine Williams, a food bio scientist and expert on food and nutrition, advised Sainsbury's in the setting up of the scheme and hopes it will help reverse the sharp decline in newly-qualified food science experts - food science graduates have halved in the past decade, leaving one in four jobs vacant. The scheme – called Taste the World – launches today (November 27 2006) and offers qualified foodies the chance to travel the world on a 12-month 'gap year', visiting suppliers and sourcing quality ingredients. Professor Williams said: "Encouraging graduates to become interested in food technology is crucial to the industry and ultimately the future of Britain's health. "It seems quite ironic that despite the UK becoming a nation of foodies, there has been a decrease in people wanting to become food experts. We hope this scheme whets their appetite in joining the industry. Traveling is also something that appeals to young people so this scheme will attract the best candidates which is a positive step for the food industry." Successful graduates will work with suppliers and partners worldwide, from exotic fruit growers in South America, to fish markets in Australia, to not only cement relationships but to learn about what it means to source fresh, safe and tasty food for Sainsbury's. Liz Jarman, Sainsbury's head of product technology, said: "The last three years has seen a massive turnaround in what supermarkets, and suppliers, are doing to clean up their acts to make food healthier, and to feed the nation. It couldn't be a more exciting time to join the industry. We wanted to come up with an interesting way of attracting the best people to the business as they'll help shape the future of food. Sainsbury's is committed to selling healthy, fresh and tasty food, but we need good quality colleagues to help achieve this for our customers." In August this year the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) confirmed that like other sciences courses, applicants for food science degree courses have more than halved in the last decade, while Britain's Institute of Food Science and Technology has warned that the sector is struggling to fill empty seats. 'Taste the World' is part of a major investment to attract the best food experts to the business during a particularly exciting time for the food industry and its rapid developments. To be eligible for the 'Taste the World' scheme, graduates must have a food or science based degree and pass through the Sainsbury's Graduate Assessment Centre and be accepted onto the Sainsbury's graduate scheme as a product technologist. ends Notes to Editors: Graduates will work for 12 months post graduation, prior to full time employment with Sainsbury's, and can chose where there work in world and plan their trip around their preferred suppliers and partner. Work will vary and be paid at the local rate to cover basic expenses Sainsbury's will contribute £1000 for the cost of flights, insurance cover and help the plan the trip and ensure all health and safety checks have been made Graduates will be required to write web based journals or 'blogs' whilst they travel For more information, visit the CBI website For more information please contact: University of Reading: Lucy Ferguson, senior press officer 0118 378 7388 Sainsbury's: Melanie Etches, Press Officer 020 7695 8451 / 7295

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