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International Tel: 0027 87630 0325

Head of Technical – JRHT

Main job function

Head of Technical

The head of Technical at a Bottling Plant, outside Newcastle KZN oversees the full technical function of both the bottling plants. This person will take responsibility for and manage the overall technical, quality and product development functions within the business. This includes ensuring legal compliance with all relevant certifications required and government departments related to food safety and water licensing.


Technical Functions

  • Lead, motivate, empower and manage reporting staff within the technical department.
  • Apply knowledge and skills to manage and direct managers in the technical department to ensure that they implement their mandate and uphold company policies and procedures.
  • Drive implementation of FSSC 22 000 into the company.
  • Review existing policies, procedures and planning and implement continuous improvement in food safety and quality management systems.
  • Manage, prepare and assess readiness for customer and supplier audits with the relevant cross functional departments.
  • Utilize knowledge and skills to assist with process improvements to improve/upgrade factory processes. Requirement to work in a team from other departments like production managers and technical maintenance staff.
  • Explore and implement key performance measures where needed within the manufacturing environment to better manage, quality, wastage and efficiency.
  • Manage investigation, root cause analysis and resolution of manufacturing, packaging or product issues.
  • Develop SOPs as and where required.
  • Conduct packaging and product trials if required.
  • Assist in first production runs of new products in tandem with Production managers.
  • Manage preparation and execution of annual food safety certification audits.
  • Manage preparation and execution of customer technical visits and customer audits.
  • Monitor and ensure that all product specifications are clearly defined and manufactured within the prescribed guidelines.
  • Assess and implement training needs as required within the technical department.
  • Ensure compliance with food safety requirements as determined by the company policies and procedures. Amend and upgrade policy as required.
  • Representing the company on all technical-related matters including with suppliers of raw material and packaging.
  • Handle technical and quality related queries and relevant responses with key customers.
  • Creating and Agreeing budget figures and manging the technical budget including lab costs.
  • Manage relationships and rate negotiations with all external laboratories.
  • Sign off on weekly CIP
  • Environmental and waste management
  • Engage with senior team members on technical issues and capex equipment investigation and play a
  • role in decision making for capital equipment purchases for beverage production.

Quality Functions

  • Lead, Motivate, empower and manage reports within the Quality department.
  • Overall Food Safety and Quality management and control functions in all plants.
  • Ensure that food safety & quality control procedures are adhered to through traceability, and where necessary implement the systems to manage and improve it as required.
  • Ensure that food safety & quality is not affected by production demands and drive a quality culture within the business. (With full support of all management)
  • Ensure all specification documents (raw materials & packaging and finished product) are up to date and draw up new specifications as needed.
  • Ensure SOPs are implemented, trained and adhered to and drive standardization of processes and training across the business.
  • Assess and implement training needs as required.
  • Technical Reports as required to management, customers or suppliers.
  • Ensure planning and execution of NPD trials to expected customer standards.
  • Ensure that trials (shelf life & organoleptic) are completed by external laboratories as per agreed customer schedules.
  • Ensure that corrective actions and preventative actions are communicated to Quality Managers and Controllers and implemented.
  • Manage root cause analysis for customer complaints and audit non-conformances.
  • Manage audit preparation.
  • Maintain and improve on the supplier quality assurance program by liaising with suppliers on quality issues, Assess potential new suppliers.
  • Manage new packaging trials and assessments.
  • Oversee Internal Audits and GMP Audits.
  • Manage completion and closeout of appropriate corrective actions for internal audits.
  • Approve quality contracts on New Product Development.
  • Management of all equipment and instrument purchases related to the quality function.
  • Management of cleaning programmes equipment, policies and regimes, amend and improve as required.
  • Maintenance and improvement of existing HACCP System
  • Contribute to and ensure Health & Safety measures in reporting departments and the plant environment.
  • Manage required risk assessments for reporting departments.
  • Management of product recalls should this be necessary, including communication with national sales manager and customer technical departments.

Product Development Functions

Working with the reporting technologist, interpret, challenge and execute against PD briefs received from customers including an overall understanding of commercial and technical, equipment and QC requirements.

Keep abreast of beverage related product developments and technologies happening both locally and internationally to ensure that the company develops and maintains a competitive advantage and a cutting-edge product offering – both in own brand and Private label.

Assist with development and design of label specifications on all new products and sign off on approvals in line with R146 regulations.

Working with various internal and external teams to ensure that NPD is delivered on time in full as per customers’ expectations and agreed timelines.

Involvement in all aspects the NPD process from concept to launch.

Ensure that 4Ps and related NPD documentation is completed and accurately submitted by the responsible technologist.


MSc Food Science or Microbiology

5 to 10 years experience as a quality manager in beverage manufacturing

Relevant certificates in Food safety

Relevant management qualification

HACCP experience

SSCC experience

Experience with Woolworths systems.

100 000 to R 120 000 per month (Medical Aid and Pension Fund)

A Consultant will be in touch if you are shortlisted for the position.  Please consider your application unsuccessful should you not have been contacted within 2 weeks.  We will keep your CV on our database and contact you should you match the criteria of any other vacancies.

To apply for this job email your details to