05 Dec 2023
by Meat Business Women

Member Spotlight with Sarah Matthews

As part of The Power Of You campaign, we want to shine a light on the incredible women who make up the Meat Business Women community. We know that by sharing experiences and knowledge, we can lift as we climb, which is crucial if we want to inspire, upskill and empower the women around us. So we’re asking you to share your story!

We caught up with Sarah Matthews who is FSQR UK Lead at Cargill Protein Europe

I fell into the food industry started out in the administration team scanning in paperwork during summer break from uni onto LIMS at the local food laboratory and now I am Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Lead at Cargill Proteins Europe (CPE) Wolverhampton Plant. I’ve managed to work across a variety of food types from slaughterhouses to sandwiches, RTE and RTC products, spending 10 years in Bakery and now Par-fry quick service restaurant products.

What would you say your top strength or superpower is and how has it helped you in your career and personal life?

Being approachable – making the start of conversations easier makes the difficult chats less difficult to start.

Who has lit the way for you and supported you in your career so far?

In the Food Laboratory space it was Liz Paterson & Ray Elliot. Both of them let me dip my toe in the food manufacturing industry allowing me to sit in the back of food safety advisory courses ran on HACCP & allergens back in Without this support I would never have taken the 2006. Without these learning opportunities I wouldn’t have made the jump to join 2SFG on their Technical Management Graduate Scheme

In Food Manufacturing it was Gary Heath, Regional Technical Services Manager for Allied Bakeries Ltd. Always led by example and showed me how a great leader behaves but most importantly that people matter!

All of them sit now in my ‘personal board of directors’ in my head – I ask myself, what would they say/do when I need to do what’s right.

In your opinion, what’s the one thing we should do to create an empowered and inclusive environment for all genders in the meat industry? 

Learn more about the ‘hidden’ conditions people live with everyday, sometimes struggling inside and not shouting about them because we can’t see them – we don’t take them into account. Anxiety, long covid and menopause are just a few!

Your best piece of advice around confidence?

Its such a dealbreaker isn’t it – once you lose confidence, it can take so long to get it back. I once changed my job to gain my confidence back, pretty sure it knocked me back career-wise a couple of years, but I am so glad I did as it made my inner belief in myself stronger for it. Confidence comes in all different forms; how you’re spoken to, how you speak to others, how you’re treated, individually or in a group – how you treat someone may appear small thing to you, but on the inside it can be a different story – so be authentic in how you treat people.

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