FROM FARM GIRL TO GAME CHANGER – PUTTING THE QUALITY IN QA
Toni Spicer-Chase has no problem in going that extra mile in her role as Head of Technical at Craveable Brands (owner operator of Oporto). She masters the vitally important job of managing product quality, food safety, supplier relations, technical guidance, and product development.
TONI SPICER – CRAVEABLE BRANDS HEAD OF TECHNICAL
Hard work is in her blood and going above and beyond is a natural default. So much so that she was awarded the highly coveted 2017 Craveable Brands Game Changer Award which recognises the outstanding work of one individual in the company.
“I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to leave any stone unturned. If there’s an issue to resolve, I’ll keep turning it over until I get an outcome”, she says. “I relish challenges and will go above and beyond to safeguard quality and safety. All the while ensuring supplier and franchisee relationships are developed and nurtured for positive outcomes.”
Quality and food safety
“Along with the safety of our people, there is no higher item of importance than quality and food safety – the safety of our people and consumers is paramount. We can’t satisfy our customers’ expectations or our own internal high standards without it.”
Toni has worked particularly hard to develop strong relationships with all of Craveable’s suppliers. “We have very high specifications for all of our products and I ensure all our suppliers adhere to those. We strive for products that have the highest standards. Our specifications are very rigorous, including delivery expectations to ensure we get the freshest produce.”
Invaluable work experience
Possessing qualifications in animal welfare, microbiology and technical applications, Toni’s career has focused primarily on the poultry area. Prior to joining Craveable Brands seven years ago, Toni worked with Baiada Poultry for four years after venturing to Sydney from her position as Compliance Coordinator at Silver Fern Farms back in her native New Zealand.
Growing up in the small rural town of Woodville, Toni spent much of her upbringing helping at the farm of her grandfather who she says was an important mentor for her.
“My first job was at five years old following my grandfather around the farm & doing whatever needed to be done, anything from milking to fixing a fence”, she explains. “I really admired his hard work ethic. He’d say to me, ‘there’s no point in collecting a wage if you’re not proud of the work you put out’. That’s stayed with me all my life and I continue to strive and achieve the most I possibly can in whatever I do.”
COMMITTED – LOYAL – DRIVEN
Away from all things food, Toni likes to spend time travelling with her teenage daughter, especially to far-flung and exotic destinations.
Toni is a friendly free spirit, however, she also knows when to stand firm. “You have to be quite resilient and persistent in this role,” she explains. “You also have to be okay with not being everyone’s friend all the time. It’s a high-pressure role, so you have to be rational under pressure and separate emotions from facts.”
As for the next five years with the business, Toni says she is pretty excited. “There’s been incredible change and growth over the last four years and I don’t see that stopping. I think we’re going to absolutely exceed people’s expectations in this business. Our brands all have a huge amount of potential and we’ve only just scratched the surface.”
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