AFAM continues its interview series "Food for Thought" and today our guest is Pierre-Edouard Brasseur (Li 208) who will talk about his experience working in Oakland, CA for Impossible Foods as a Continuous Improvement Engineer.

AFAM: Hello, Pierre-Edouard, and thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with our blog readers. Your job title is Continuous Improvement Engineer for Impossible Foods. What does it mean exactly and what do you do in a daily basis for your job?

Pierre-Edouard: My main role is to help with improving the performance of the equipment we use to manufacture the Impossible Burger, to ensure that the meat we produce in our Oakland facility is top quality. This involves a number of projects where I work with a cross functional team made up of people from production, maintenance, quality, sanitation and more.

On a daily basis, I study and measure our production output and how this can be continuously improved. I also spend around 30% of my time on the floor of our manufacturing facility. I also work closely with our suppliers and our maintenance team to improve the performance of our equipment.   

AFAM: Is working in the food industry your initial choice or a coincidence?

Pierre-Edouard: I lived in France until December 2018 and worked for ArcelorMittal, the world steel leader, where I was a mechanical workshop manager. During this time, I learned a lot about maintenance management, mechanics, repairs, people management, and project management in general.

Once I decided to come to the United States, I knew I wanted to work in a maintenance role or a project management role. I knew I wanted to live in San Francisco, and therefore I knew my options in the manufacturing industry were somewhat limited. The food industry seemed like a natural step, and I am thrilled to have this great opportunity to work for Impossible Foods.

AFAM: What makes the company you work for unique?

Pierre-Edouard: Impossible Foods’ mission is to transform the global food system to support the planet and growing human population. Our goal is to replace animals as a food production technology by 2035, and provide consumers with meat, fish, and dairy foods that are good for both people and the planet. 

Impossible Foods is unique in its committed focus to its mission: to completely transform the food system to feed a growing population. We’re using a product to have a meaningful impact on the environment. The Impossible Burger, compared to a traditional burger from cows, uses 96% less land, 87% less water and creates 89% less greenhouse gas emissions. From a consumer perspective, this means that when a consumer chooses an Impossible Burger over a conventional beef burger, they save the greenhouse gases of the average American's drive to work, 73 square feet of land for nature and 170 water bottles worth of fresh water. 

One of the most exciting things for me in working at Impossible Foods, is the opportunity to be part of an industry that’s expanding incredibly quickly. 

AFAM: Did the fact of being French help you get where you are now?

Pierre-Edouard:

My background and my experience leading up to now has helped prepare me a lot for where I am today. But the fact of being French did not necessarily help me. It was a challenge for me at the beginning to get used to the American accent, but this is a great opportunity to improve my English, and I am getting better.

Picture credit: chicagocrusader.com

Read other interviews of Food for Thought series in our blog:

Interview with Guilhem Bau (Cl 215), 6Dbytes

Interview with Jérémy Berros (Li 206), Pellenc Group