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Artisan food students complete RFA training

Posted 21 June 2011

The students with RFA staff

Harper Adams University College has welcomed 10 students from the School of Artisan Food for the culmination of six months’ training by the Regional Food Academy. 

Experts from the RFA at Harper Adams have been delivering sensory evaluation and quality systems management training to diploma students at the Nottinghamshire-based school, which teaches all aspects of artisan food production. 

RFA Manager Martin Anderson said: “The School of Artisan Food students have been a pleasure to teach and, after doing all the training so far in Nottinghamshire, it was great to be able to bring them to Harper Adams to complete their RFA-accredited modules in the food academy itself.”

After sensory evaluation sessions in the morning, and a locally-sourced Harper Adams lunch, the students conducted a series of focus groups in the afternoon, gaining consumer opinions on their artisan cheeses, breads and other products. 

Diploma in Artisan Food Production Student Michael Thomson, 25, who travelled over from Belfast to join the course last year, said: “The training provided by the RFA has been excellent and coming here today was great. I’m really looking forward to touring the rest of the campus and seeing the Harper Adams dairy.

“The facilities in the RFA itself are awesome. I loved using the sensory evaluation room, and doing the focus groups, which is something I would not have considered before.”

Classmate Lee-Anna Rennie, 26, is also specialising in cheese production, and was impressed with the scientific side of the RFA.

She said: “The food academy facilities are incredible and I wish we’d been able to come here earlier in the course and have more of a play, for example with determining the available water content of our cheeses.” Lee-Anna’s ambition is to run her own goat-cheese farm.

The RFA is also launching a series of cheese-grading courses.

See: www.regionalfoodacademy.org

For more information on the School of Artisan Food visit: www.schoolofartisanfood.org

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