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The Nordic region's largest potato packing plant provides food in an uncertain time

Hvebergsmoen in Grue contributes to stable supplies of potatoes to the market. Petter Sorknes, employed as a quality controller in the company, is among several employees who have experienced a busy time due to increased demand for potatoes in recent months. Sorknes emphasizes the importance of the food supply functioning in a time of great uncertainty in society.

Name: Petter Andreas Mobakk Sorknes
Workplace: Hvebergsmoen Potato Packaging
Job title: Quality controller

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Questions for you who keep the wheels going

What kind of skills / education is required in your job?
It is an advantage to have good experience with the use of trucks, and to be technically minded. In addition, one obviously has to learn a lot about potatoes as a subject and quality-related challenges.

What are your core tasks?

As a quality controller, I am responsible for the operation and maintenance of sorting lines and water treatment plants, sample cutting of potatoes, pre-samples and reception samples, and ensure that we work in line with our internal control system (IK-Mat & HMS). I am the deputy area manager, which also includes production planning
How has your workday been in recent weeks compared to normal conditions. Give a brief explanation of what a "normal" day looks like in these corona times?

In the time before Easter, we had a lot of pressure in production. It went in 3 shifts, which is not unusual at Easter, but very unusual when we started several weeks before Easter with this this year. In addition to this, we have had to work more weekends than we normally do, and we still experience a lot to do.

Measures were initiated early in relation to Covid-19, and we have sometimes divided up when different departments start work and how many of us are on breaks at a time. We have also introduced rules for physical distance between employees, further tightened hygiene rules, and intensified cleaning of, for example, sniles, trucks and surfaces.

Everyday life in my position is very varied and no two days are exactly alike. A "normal" day in these times consists of inspections of water treatment plants, test cutting of new batches that come in and repair of any mechanical faults. It can also be truck driving during truck driver breaks, as the lines must be kept running at all times due to large orders and assistance to keep the lines with enough potatoes.

Why is your job important and how do you / your company contribute to keeping society going?
As a quality controller, I work every day to ensure that the potatoes we deliver are of the right quality, and ensure that our sorting lines work optimally. In addition, I have a number of other tasks that support our deliveries both in terms of quality and efficiency. Hvebergsmoen is the Nordic region's largest potato packing plant and contributes to stable supplies of potatoes to the market. It is important to show that there is always food in the shops and that the food supply works in a time of much uncertainty in society.
Do you have any professional tips or advice that people should follow in these times?
Wash your hands often, follow the advice from the Norwegian Directorate of Health and stay at home as best you can outside of work. If you feel ill, stay home and continue with the work so that the people around you and not least those who are at greater risk of infection can feel a little safer.
What would you say to others who are considering your career?
This profession is very special and I recommend anyone who wants to go for it. It is a demanding everyday life with many different and exciting tasks.
What is the best thing about working / living in the Kongsvinger region?
The best thing about working in the Kongsvinger region is the opportunities in your free time. Here there are many nice restaurants, shops and even an indoor swimming pool.

Watch the film where Petter tells about his everyday work in a state of emergency Insta og Facebook.

Read more similar cases in the series "We keep the wheels turning" where the goal is to highlight exciting and relevant jobs in the Kongsvinger region that have a particularly important task in a demanding time.