Quality Assurance Technician

Date: 03-Dec-2021

Location: Nantwich, United Kingdom

Company: Ornua Co-operative Limited

Job Description


Job Title:                    Quality Assurance Technician

Reports to:                Quality Systems Manager

Location:                    Nantwich, CW5 6DN

Hours:                        Rotating shifts 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm Mon - Fri

Salary:                        £25,000per annum -  depending on experience




Ornua is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy exporting to over 110 countries with annualised sales of over €2 billion.


Operating from 19 subsidiaries worldwide and employing over 2,300 staff, Ornua has sales and marketing teams working in-market across all four corners of the globe from Algiers to Beijing to Lagos and LA.


The business is structured across two core platforms: Ornua Foods and Ornua Ingredients.

Ornua Foods owns the iconic Kerrygold brand, as well as the Pilgrims Choice, Dubliner, Forto and BEO Milk Powder brands.


Ornua Ingredients supplies superior quality dairy ingredients to leading global food manufacturers from some of the world’s most technically advanced manufacturing and prepacking facilities located in Africa, China, Ireland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the UK and the US.


Ornua Foods UK is located in Leek Staffordshire and is comprised of a state-of-the-art cheese packing facility. It is the UK’s largest supplier of pre-packed hard cheese supplying every major UK food retailer as well as the wholesale, convenience and foodservice sectors. Home to the Pilgrims Choice, MU and Kerrygold butter brands, it sells 50% of UK retail private label hard cheese. Pilgrims Choice is the number two cheddar brand in the UK and Kerrygold has 14% share of UK retail packet butter.


Ornua Ingredients UK is comprised of two manufacturing sites (Ledbury & Whitchurch). It specialises in the manufacture and supply of high quality cheese in a range of formats, specialist cheese, dairy ingredients and a wide range of dessert products supplying the food manufacturing and foodservice sectors.


Ornua Nutrition Ingredients UK is a leading powder specialist providing high quality ingredients to the UK and export markets through its sourcing, formulating & blending facility in Leek.


At Ornua, we Grow Together by investing in the development of our people and providing great people leadership for all. We Achieve Together through valuing collaboration, innovation and diversity and by empowering our people to make decisions. We Belong Together by staying true to our co-operative roots, valuing each other's individual differences and remaining humble in our interactions with each other and our customers.


We want to find people that understand and work with heart, with thought with vision, with drive – Ornua’s core values.




To manage the site technical agenda, driving technical excellence, to assure product quality and food safety, meeting customer expectations in line with all relevant quality, service, legal and regulatory standards and obligations.


Key Areas of Responsibility:


  • Engage in the development of improvements in the effectiveness of the Technical Team through contribution to cross-functional working, performance improvement initiatives and development of the operational process. 
  • Investigate customer complaints and deviations and internal rejections, liaising with colleagues and team members to undertake root cause analysis, implement corrective actions and preventative measures in a timely manner that meets with customer expectations and prevents reoccurrence.
  • Police, educate and audit the production process to ensure CCPs, QCPs, QAS documentation is completed against the standards.
  • Ensure all non-conformances are properly investigated, utilising the internal audit team and cross functional expertise to undertake root cause analysis, and identify/implement corrective and preventative actions to stop reoccurrence.
  • Manage supplier deviations on site, liaising with the supplier to undertake root cause analysis, implement corrective actions and preventative measures in a timely manner that meets with customer expectations and prevents reoccurrence.
  • Assist with pilot trials and main plant trials / launches as necessary.
  • Provide technical subject matter expertise to advise, educate and support internal factory personnel in food safety and quality management systems.
  • Manage the on-site taste panel team, including but not limited to: sign off taste panel members, manage taste panel procedures, re-assess team members at defined frequency & order taste panel solutions when required.
  • Liaise with the laboratory to schedule and arrange samples testing and analysis, escalating any scheduling issues to the Technical Manager, in order to meet the product sampling plan and schedule agreed with customers.
  • Collect samples from the factory and warehouse and pack and send them to laboratory for testing and analysis to meet the customers’ requirements.
  • Analyse and report sample data, providing certificates of analysis that meet customer requirements.
  • Set up, and maintain the samples database and library for samples  to ensure accurate and up to date record keeping.
  • Generate samples from commercial request log for new products including preparing for dispatch.
  • Conduct random sampling and cook testing in order to test product functionality.
  • Authorise invoices relating to microbiological testing.
  • Adopt an ethos of "safety first"(and encourage others to do the same), taking responsibility for Health & Safety performance and reporting, ensuring risks and issues are actioned immediately in line with Health & Safety regulations.
  • Take personal responsibility for understanding and agreeing performance expectations, completing the necessary mandatory training and developing the levels of capability and competence needed to be effective in the role.


Key requirements


  • In-depth understanding of Food Safety – Level 2 (preferably Level 3)
  • Understanding of HACCP - Level 2 (Preferably Level 3)
  • Internal auditing qualification/certificate and experience of internal auditing and compliance monitoring in a food manufacturing environment
  • Detailed knowledge of quality and food safety systems and processes
  • Demonstrable experience of data analysis, trend monitoring/identification and investigation non-conformance
  • Detailed understanding of sampling process and principles
  • Excellent influencing skills with the ability to clearly communicate objectives, provide feedback and get buy in at all levels
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to work within a team environment but also have the ability to work using own initiative
  • Driven, enjoys a challenge and strives for continuous improvement and development


Key competencies 


  • WORKING TOGETHER: Proficient; Encourages co-operation in own team and supports cross-functional working.
  • RIGOUR: Proficient; For projects that involve others applies effective professional skill, analysis and decision making, and planning and reviewing.
  • CURIOSITY: Proficient; Encourages others to learn and demonstrates the courage to be creative.
  • OWNERSHIP: Clarifies accountabilities, overlaps, and gaps, and helps others remain motivated through difficult times.


Benefits: Free Onsite Parking, 33 Days’ Holiday, Pension, Company Shop (offering discounts on products), Discount on Bikes and Tech Scheme, Confidential Employee Assist Programme

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