Sun | Aug 25, 2019

Maintaining standards with Coleman

Published:Monday | December 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Kimberlyn Coleman, quality assurance technician, Copperwood Farms.
Kimberlyn Coleman, quality assurance technician, Copperwood Farms.
Kimberlyn Coleman, quality assurance technician, Copperwood Farms.
Kimberlyn Coleman, quality assurance technician, Copperwood Farms.
Kimberlyn Coleman, quality assurance technician, Copperwood Farms.

Have you ever considered what it takes to get premium quality meat from the farm to your fridge? When you take a bite of succulent Copperwood pork or delicious CB chicken, have you ever thought about the hard work and dedication of the team behind production? A team of individuals is needed to collect data, analyse the information, and uphold standards according to international food-safety laws. This highly technical job requires a lot of hands-on experience, a love for agriculture, and not to mention a knack for numbers. For Kimberlyn Coleman, being a quality assurance technician at Copperwood Farms checks all the boxes for her dream job. She is grateful for the opportunity to let her passion for agriculture reflect through her work on a daily basis.

"As the quality assurance technician, my main function is to collect data, monitor and verify records which ensure that the production output and processes comply with whatever standard and specification expected," stated Coleman as she explained the highly technical role she plays.

Her journey at Copperwood started in production when she came on board as a livestock attendant. At this level, she learnt the fundamentals associated with animal safety, health, and antenatal care. "As a livestock attendant, it is mostly production-driven, where we have to do artificial insemination, reports, ensure sanitation is done properly, weaning activities, medication, and vaccine."

As she reflected on her transition from livestock attendant to quality assurance technician, she explained that her job is not as hands-on, and is focused on analysing the data and monitoring trends from the many computer systems located on the farm.

"I decided to go into agriculture because I realise that without agriculture, our economy will never be better," said Coleman, who emphasised that agriculture is the driving force behind a nation. "When we as a country can provide our own food, supply the adequate demand and possibly do exports, that for me is what we need to aim for as a country."

Coleman holds a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Production and Food Systems Management from the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) which is one of the key requirements for the job. "My mom always wanted me to be a nurse and I thought I loved nursing until I got some experience in it," stated Coleman. She kept the mindset but decided to extend her nurturing capabilities to the animals on the CB Group farms.

Being part of the CB Group is equivalent to having an extended family. "I enjoy the continuous positive feedback that I get from persons praising the produce from our hard work," said Coleman, who stated that the recognition is the most enjoyable part of her work. A typical day involves a lot of data reading, monitoring, scheduling, meetings and checking emails for updates on projects and sanitation protocols. This year, her facility was praised in the SGS audit (formerly Societe Generale de Surveillance - French for General Society of Surveillance) for having zero conformants within their procedure.

There's a lot more to the industry than working directly with animals. Coleman is passionate about her job as she believes in food security, informed food choices for a healthy lifestyle, and lowering agricultural imports. Coleman is proud of her contribution as a woman in agriculture.