Food protection professionals range from the field of food safety to food security, food defense and food sustainability. Together, they must acquire new competencies and experience on an ongoing basis. On top of learning the culture, values, functions and procedures that are unique to their employer, employees must be up-to-date with scientific and technological advances and enhance their skills accordingly.
Basic principles of science, technology and food protection practices and outcomes are common across the food sector.
Canadian academic institutions offer few programs specific to food protection and production. Employers looking for food safety competencies when hiring new recruits find a number of graduates falling short of meeting their needs. Currently, new recruits possess a wide variability in the amount, type and relevance of food protection courses. This is one reason why employers often provide extensive training before new recruits can work effectively. It is this duplication of efforts across Canada that drives up costs in the industry.