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Top Cut - Collaborative Innovation Program Innovation Manager

MLA and Top Cut agreed to progress a Stage One of the Collaborative Innovation Strategies Program (CISP) over a three year period commencing in 2014. The focus of the program was to support the development of Top Cut’s red meat high value growth strategies in both the domestic and global markets via the development of a range of innovative products, packaging, processes and value chain concepts.  It is noted that in addition to supporting the development of iinovation capability of key Top Cut personnel, the program was designed to integrate and extend more broadly into the Simplot business where opportunities to innovate red meat offerings are identified.

The Top Cut Innovation Manager was responsible for contributing to the overall success of the Top Cut Innovation program by way of managing and reporting on projects ensuring timelines and budgets were met, participating in the Innovation Managers Network and assisting with implementation of the Top Cut innovation strategy.

The following activities were completed by the Innovation Manager during the two-year program:

* Innovation approaches have adapted to changes in the business.  Since the commencement of the program, there has been  significant evolution and subsequent re-structuring across the business in the areas of finance, sales and operations at Top Cut Foods.

*A suite of R&D projects have been undertaken and consistent with the business’s improvement priorities.  Some detailed investigations of products, processes and packaging formats has been undertaken in generic areas.

*Evolving roles and responsibilities of the Innovation Manager as the program progressed.

*The Innovation Manager was involved in developing an integrated business plan for the Top Cut cooked meat and sauce brand. The brand has been re-launched and is seen as an integral part of the Top Cut value added business unit.

* One of the MLA/Top Cut Innovation programme KPI’s was to improve red meat knowledge within the group. The Innovation Manager developed a draft meat capability program.

*Another of the MLA/Top Cut KPI’s was to develop relationships with customer and suppliers.

* The Innovation Manager co-ordinated new product development in the areas of American style barbeque products such as cooked brisket and ribs).  Specifically the Innovation Manager provided technical assistance to various Top Cut teams in the areas of pulled meat production, sous vide cooking and quality assurance systems.

*The Innovation Manager attended various industry workshops including the MLA Industry Trends workshop, the MSA forum and the Ernst and Young co-ordinated industry project on sustainable packaging.

*Engaged in MLA Wet Aged/Dry Aged Japan program.

*Continued with some National QA activities including involvement in the Simplot Food Safety Governance committee, producing national guidelines for the use of transglutaminase, product labelling requirements and national specification development.

* Active interest in MLA's Value Chain Mapping industry study co-ordinated by KPMG.

The Innovation Manager had attended a series of traning and development courses and industry events.  The Innovation Manager facilitated the alignment and creation of innovation strategies with the company's business strategies working closely with key managers including the National Marketing Manager. The recommendation for the the next phase of the program were :

* Strategic study tours to determine whether a study tour of international meat industry organisations and/or other food industries to review new and emerging technologies is beneficial to the development of the programme.

*Consider further management courses that may assist with personal development in the areas of management, implementation of business strategies or similar.


Title Size Date published
1.7MB 01/12/2012


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Top Cut - Collaborative Innovation Program Innovation Manager
01/04/2014 30/05/2017

This page was last updated on 19/09/2018