ABP encourages women to join industry

Keilley Peters started her career on a pork production line
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Beef giant ABP UK is addressing the gender imbalance in the meat industry by encouraging young women into careers.

ABP said it must address the gender gap to avoid the general skills gap becoming “a real problem”.

Keilley Peters, general manager at ABP Eatwell, who started her career in the meat industry on a pork production line, commented: “A lot of young people, especially young girls, don’t see the industry as a particularly glamorous one, but the opportunities really are endless. When I first left university, I just saw the sector as a fast and growing environment with huge potential for progression. Since starting, I’ve worked on production lines right through to supply chain management – providing me with a wealth of business experience.

“In this industry you do often find that there are certain disciplines that people just aren’t going into. The supply chain roles for example – it’s really difficult to find good people as fewer and fewer youngsters, not least women, are choosing this industry as a career.

Peters said she wanted to see more young women starting out on a career in the trade: “I want to show young girls who are leaving school or college that, actually, there is a vast amount of opportunity for them – it’s not just standing on a production line, the opportunities are endless.”

This echoes Eblex’s efforts to promote women in the meat industry and the levy board recently held a ‘Women in Meat’ networking event, which focused on developing female talent within the trade.

Peters said youngsters should think about all the careers the industry has to offer, including marketing and planning: “The trouble is, with young people as a whole, they’re not aware of these opportunities and they don’t know what disciplines are out there.

“If I could give one piece of advice to young girls specifically, it would be to ignore the preconception that this industry isn’t a glamorous one. The disciplines you will learn and the doors that will open for you will set you up for any career. To be honest, if you can make it in the world of meat and supply chain, you really can make it anywhere,” Peters concluded.

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