Food production manager


Food production managers oversee and monitor production and have overall responsibility for staffing and related issues. Hence, they have a detailed knowledge of the manufacturing products and their production processes. On the one hand, they control process parameters and their influence on the product and on the other hand, they ensure that staffing and recruitment levels are adequate.

Excludes people working in small companies

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to food production manager:

Minimum qualifications

High school diploma is generally required to work as food production manager. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Food production manager is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Food production manager career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to food production manager.

food production engineer
cider master
food and beverage packaging technologist

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of food production manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of food production manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of food production manager.

Food legislation: Legislation related to the food and feed industry including food manufacturing, hygiene, safety, raw materials, additives, GMOs, labelling, environmental and trade regulations.
Financial capability: Financial operations such as calculations, cost estimations, budget management taking relevant commercial and statistical data into account such as data for materials, supplies and manpower.
Quality assurance methodologies: Quality assurance principles, standard requirements, and the set of processes and activities used for measuring, controlling and ensuring the quality of products and processes.
Food and beverage industry: The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of food production manager.

Supervise employees in food production plants: Supervise employees and monitor product quality at plants that turn raw materials including living creatures, vegetables and grains into products.
Set production kpi: Set and achieve KPIs in line with company strategy and ensure customer requirements are met.
Maintain relationship with customers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with customers in order to ensure satisfaction and fidelity by providing accurate and friendly advice and support, by delivering quality products and services and by supplying after-sales information and service.
Set quality assurance objectives: Define quality assurance targets and procedures and see to their maintenance and continued improvement by reviewing targets, protocols, supplies, processes, equipment and technologies for quality standards.
Oversee production requirements: Oversee production processes and prepare all the resources needed to maintain an efficient and continuous flow of production.
Manage corrective actions: Implementing corrective action and continuous improvement plans from internal and third party audits to meet food safety and quality performance indicators with adherance to agreed timescales.
Implement short term objectives: Define priorities and immediate actions for the short future.
Ensure cost efficiency in food manufacturing: Ensure that the whole process of food manufacturing from receipt of raw materials, production, to food manufacturing and packaging processes is cost-effective and efficient.
Apply haccp: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
Identify hazards in the workplace: Perform safety audits and inspections on workplaces and workplace equipment. Ensure that they meet safety regulations and identify hazards and risks.
Analyse trends in the food and beverage industries: Investigate trends in foodstuffs related to consumers preferences. Examine key markets based on both product type and geography as well as technological improvements in the industry.
Plan shifts of employees: Plans shifts of employees to ensure completion of all customer orders and satisfactory completion of the production plan.
Manage resources in food manufacturing: Managing resources to ensure sufficient and appropriate trained staff to ensure consistent performance.
Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
Apply gmp: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Keep up with innovations in food manufacturing: Latest innovative products and technologies to process, preserve, package and improve food products.
Plan food plant production activities: Prepare food plant production plans by scheduling the main activities within agreed budgetary and service levels. Foresee realistic times and costs required for the production activities taking productivity and efficiency into account.
Control of expenses: Monitoring and maintaining effective cost controls, in regards to efficiencies, waste, overtime and staffing. Assessing excesses and strives for efficiency and productivity.
Communicate production plan: Communicates production plan to all levels in a way that targets, processes, and requirements are clear. Ensures that information is passed to everyone involved in the process assuming their responsibility for overall success.
Apply control process statistical methods: Apply statistical methods from Design of Experiments (DOE) and Statistical Process Control (SPC) in order to control manufacturing processes.
Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
Interpret data in food manufacturing: Interpret data from different sources, like market data, scientific papers, and customers requirements in order to research development and innovation in food sector.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of food production manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Legislation about animal origin products: The applicable legal rules on temperature, waste materials, traceability, labelling, trading, and the transport of animal origin products. 
Food safety standards: Food safety standards (i.e. ISO 22000) developed by the recognised organisations for Standardization dealing with food safety. For example, the ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for an effective food safety management system. It covers interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs and HACCP principles.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of food production manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Lead process optimisation: Lead process optimisation using statistical data. Design experiments on the production line and functional process control models.
Perform strategic planning in the food industry: Develop and coordinate plans of action in the food industry to assure that quality and deadlines are met in time.
Assess environmental plans against financial costs: Assess environmental plans in financial terms in order to balance the expenditure required for environmental improvements. Assess the economic benefit that those investments will bring in the long-term to the company.
Ensure continuous preparedness for audits: Ensure constant compliance with standards and requirements, such as keeping certifications up to date and monitoring activities to ensure correct procedures are followed, so that audits can occur smoothly and no negative aspects can be identified.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Manage communications with food industry governmental bodies: Managing communications with regulatory authorities for the food industry for all aspects of food safety, limits on potentially hazardous ingredients, labelling requirements and legislation.
Adapt production levels: Adapt current production levels and strive to improve the current production rates looking for economic gains and margins. Negotiate improvement with sales, dispatch and distribution departments.
Apply foreign language for international trade: Communicate in foreign languages to facilitate international trade operations such as the importation of food and beverages.
Hire new personnel: Hire new personnel for a company or organisation payroll via a prepared set of procedures. Make staffing decisions and direct selection co-workers.
Monitor developments used for food industry: Identifying and exploring developments and innovation in technology and materials in the food industry.
Advocate for consumer matters in production plants: Conduct regulatory oversight activities inside plants in matters relating to areas of consumer matters, e.g. misbranding, consumer protection, etc.
Plan medium to long term objectives: Schedule long term objectives and immediate to short term objectives through effective medium-term planning and reconciliation processes.
Mitigate waste of resources: Evaluate and identify opportunities to use resources more efficiently with continuously striving to reduce waste of utilities.
Manage medium term objectives: Monitor medium term schedules with budget estimations and reconciliation on a quarterly basis.

ISCO group and title

1321 – Manufacturing managers





  1. Food production manager – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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