The FHA-Food & Beverage is celebrating International Women’s Day by spotlighting the amazing female leaders in the F&B industry. This is an opportunity to recognise the women who have worked hard and achieved success. This week, we will focus on the stories of the women who have been trailblazers and mentors in the F&B sector. These inspiring women are leading the way, and we are grateful for their dedication and commitment.

In this IWD series, we spoke with Hosanna Joy Abesamis, Assistant Vice President, Global Procurement, of Jollibee Foods Corporation, about her notable experience in the food and beverage industry, the obstacles she has faced, and her advice to young women desiring to pursue this area.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the F&B Industry?

My Mom used to tell us to avoid wasting food. She inculcated in us that God blesses us with food and drink not just to sustain us but also to enjoy with our family and the people we love. Food plays a vital and significant part in the life of everyone.

I can still remember that my Mom, being a career woman and has no time to cook at home, would bring home ready to eat food most of the time. She had to be creative and ensure to bring home quality meals for her family to enjoy. This childhood memory gave me an idea of investing my time and career in the F&B industry. The industry is a conduit between farm production and food retailing. It constitutes the cycle in the food value chain. It will constantly play a significant role in our economic growth.

Today, without a shadow of doubt, I am glad to say that I made a wise decision. I am now enjoying the returns on this investment. It is giving me a sense of fulfillment.

What are some of the obstacles you have faced to reach to your current success?

I am a strong believer that a difficulty could be a blessing meant to groom me to be better, stronger, and wiser. I have encountered a lot of obstacles especially in my field of expertise, Procurement, and in the F&B industry. The last 3 years has been unprecedented and for me it was a real-life test of resiliency.

Looking back, I am still grateful because my experience pushed me to have more creative ideas and increase flexibility in achieving our end goals.

I also recognize how blessed and privileged I am to work in corporations with strong commitment to taking good care of people and giving equal opportunities at work, regardless of gender, race, and religion. I make sure to uphold the same level of commitment in all my dealings to sustain this culture.

I consider my personal and professional growth as well as relationships built along the way as my success.

What has been your most memorable experience in the F&B industry?

Every day is a memorable moment for me. Every day is a new day that I need to face with strong enthusiasm and determination. As a mother, I work to support and build my family. I want to set a good example to my children. I want them to reach and achieve greater heights of success. I specifically like the Mini Manager’s Camp of Jollibee because it demonstrated the nature of work to kids at their very young age. I am proud to say that my 5-year-old son back then was one of the beneficiaries of the program. He was a Mini Manager for 2 weeks. It was a good training experience and exposure for him. I believe that as a mother, I need to train up my children in the way that they should go so they will not depart from it. I am confident that this program inculcated in the young mind of my son the F&B industry, its significance and impact to an individual, to families, and the communities.

What advice would you offer to young women interested in entering the field?

I would like to encourage the young professionals to be part of this field because this is the industry that will make you appreciate life and the creation of the universe. The supply chain, particularly that of food is very relevant in our day-to-day existence. In this industry, you speak life and spread love through high quality and safe food.

We hope that our conversation has been inspiring and that it will continue to foster dialogue about the empowerment of women. 

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