Food production planner


Food production planners prepare production plans, evaluate all the variables in the process and strive to ensure that production objectives be achieved.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to food production planner:

food production planning expert
food production planning specialist
food manufacturing planner

Minimum qualifications

High school diploma is generally required to work as food production planner. 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 planner is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Food production planner career path

Similar occupations

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

green coffee coordinator
malt house supervisor
animal feed supervisor
distillery supervisor
dairy processing technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of food production planner. 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 planner with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

food production manager
food production engineer
animal feed nutritionist
botanicals specialist
cider master

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

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

Food legislation: Legislation related to the food and feed industry including food manufacturing, hygiene, safety, raw materials, additives, GMOs, labelling, environmental and trade regulations.
Statistics: The study of statistical theory, methods and practices such as collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments in order to forecast and plan work-related activities.
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.

Essential skills and competences

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

Monitor ingredient storage: Monitor ingredient storage and expiry dates via weekly reporting leading to good stock rotation and reduction of waste.
Give instructions to staff: Give instructions to subordinates by employing various communication techniques. Adjust communication style to the target audience in order to convey instructions as intended.
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).
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.
Support management of raw materials: Support management of raw materials and plants required by the department for production. Oversee the needs for material and notify when stock levels reach re-order levels.
Disaggregate the production plan: Split production plan in daily, weekly, and monthly plans with clear objectives and targets required.
Enhance production workflow: Enhance the product workflow by analysing and developing logistics plans that impact production as well as distribution.
Detect bottlenecks: Identify bottlenecks in the supply chain.
Manage backlogs: Manage work control status and backlogs to ensure completion of work orders.
Maintain updated professional knowledge: Regularly attend educational workshops, read professional publications, actively participate in professional societies.
Schedule regular machine maintenance: Schedule and perform regular maintenance, cleaning, and repairs of all equipment. Order necessary machine parts and upgrade equipment when necessary to ensure optimal 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.
Create food production plan: Delivers the production plan within agreed budgetary and service levels.
Meet productivity targets: Devise methods to determine improvement in productivity, adjusting the goals to be reached and the necessary time and resources.
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.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

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 planner. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Keep food laboratory inventory: Monitor stocks of food analysis laboratories. Order supplies to keep laboratories well furnished.
Lead process optimisation: Lead process optimisation using statistical data. Design experiments on the production line and functional process control models.
Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
Be at ease in unsafe environments: Be at ease in unsafe environments like being exposed to dust, rotating equipment, hot surfaces, sub-freezing and cold storage areas, noise, wet floors and moving lift equipment.
Apply foreign language for international trade: Communicate in foreign languages to facilitate international trade operations such as the importation of food and beverages.
Write routine reports: Compose routine reports; identify appropriate forms or documents to record data from manual inspections and/or electronic systems. Write clear observations as required. A written report is usually a summary of readings from the routine performance of the reticulation system.
Apply scientific methods: Apply scientific methods and techniques to investigate phenomena, by acquiring new knowledge or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.
Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
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.
Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
Provide written content: Communicate information in written form via digital or print media according to the needs of the target group. Structure the content according to specifications and standards. Apply grammar and spelling rules.
Assess ergonomics of the workplace: Assess ergonomics of the workplace in relation to the human resources.
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.
Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
Keep up-to-date with regulations: Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current regulations and apply this knowledge in specific sectors.
Plan self-organisation: Identify the necessary tasks and prioritise them in order to develop an individual schedule and perform the work in an autonomous way, ensuring that the requirements are met.
Analyse work-related written reports: Read and comprehend job-related reports, analyse the content of reports and apply findings to daily work operations.

ISCO group and title

3122 – Manufacturing supervisors





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

Thinking about your next career move?

Answer a few questions about your jobs and education, and we’ll give you suggestions about your best possible career move. It’s completely free!