Head Cheesemaker – EAST AFRICA

Head Cheesemaker - EAST AFRICA

Dairy Jobs, East Africa
Post Date: December 15, 2022
Apply Before: January 31, 2023
Applications: 21

Job overview

We are seeking a master cheesemaker to drive flavour, quality, and efficiency in the creamery, and to mentor the team of cheesemakers.

Our client has been making East Africa’s finest cheeses for over 40 years.  The factory processes ~20 tons of milk each day into a wide variety of cheeses and dairy products.  The cheese is the premium brand in the market & is exported regionally.

The Head Cheesemaker is responsible for the production and quality of all cheeses and leadership and training of supervisors, team leaders, and production staff. The factory produces all major cheese types, including hard, soft, pasta filata, bloomy rind, blue, and washed rind cheeses.  The Head Cheesemaker will also be responsible for other dairy products, including yoghurt, fluid milk, ice cream, and other dairy products.

The successful candidate will have extensive experience in production of multiple types of cheese in a commercial environment.  They will also have significant experience managing both team leaders and production staff, with practice in training and mentorship.

Physical Factors / Working conditions:
– This is a leadership position requiring 45 hours per week, 5 days each week, plus on-call duties for emergencies.
– The position requires dependability, cleanliness, integrity, and attention to detail.
– The position requires significant strength and endurance: ability to lift up to 25 kgs, work in hot and cold environments, and spend many hours each day on the factory floor.

– $50,000 – $60,000 p.a.
– Compensation will be dependent upon experience.
– Other benefits will include annual travel expenses home, health insurance, necessary work permits, housing, and a vehicle. 30 day vacation annually

Reports To:  Head of Operations
Direct Reports:  Dairy Team Leaders (x5)


  • Manage the daily dairy production operations.
  • Plan and supervise the daily dairy production, including management of record keeping, inventories, and management systems.
  • Co-manage the food safety system with the Quality team.
  • Verify all documents, including daily make sheets, cleaning records, and ensure the creamery is adhering to GFSI standards.
  • Manage weekly production schedule and staffing.
  • Maintain consistency amongst the cheesemaking staff and communicate changes in standard operating procedures.
  • Coordinate closely with dairy staff to identify seasonal changes in the milk to change cheesemaking target.
  • Oversee dairy production and troubleshoot when required.
  • Manage daily testing of cheese to determine initial grade for each batch. This includes accurate and relevant laboratory testing and record keeping of pH, TA, moisture content, salt content, antibiotics and other testing.
  • Manage cheese cut/pack department to ensure efficient and safe packing of finished products.
  • Manage inventory of dairy ingredients and relevant supplies. Approve POs, manage incoming supplies, and minimize costs through efficiency and purchasing decisions.
  • Serve as key contact for dairy operations. Work with QA Manager to ensure consistent production of high quality and safe dairy products. Work with Technical Manager to coordinate Preventative Maintenance Program, breakdowns, schedule downtime, and source equipment. Work closely with the Tasting Program Coordinator to track progress and improvement. Liaise with data analysts to monitor yields and quality over time.
  • Manage the dairy budget and COGS.
  • Supervise and manage dairy production staff
  • Mentor and train cheesemaking staff, topics including basic cheesemaking, GMPs, cleaning, and sanitation training when onboarding new team members.
  • Collaborate with HR team in reviewing, executing, and improving the performance management system.
  • Provide insightful reporting and guidance to executive leadership.
  • Produce periodic reports covering all aspects of dairy production.
  • Identify and implement process improvements to drive efficiency and quality.
  • Perform other business work as needed to support the business in driving customer satisfaction, including occasional sales support, VIP factory tours, etc.


  • Significant expertise making multiple cheese types in a variety of environments.
  • Experience working with modern food safety systems.
  • Communication in English is required.
  • Experience managing teams in a modern factory environment in which multiple cheese products are produced.
  • Experience developing and improving cheese recipes.
  • Diploma in cheesemaking or dairy production.
  • 10+ years’ experience in cheesemaking.
  • Experience making many types of cheeses, especially mozzarella, cheddar, soft cheeses, and pizza cheese.
  • University or similar degree in cheesemaking or dairy production.