Jacob Babu’s passion for science started in college and today he is one of the many who ensures the raw milk that goes into our products each day is top-notch. Interacting with people, leading teams and coming up with solutions for new problems are the things he enjoys the most about his job.
Why did you decide to be a scientist?
I studied science at college and then university. I had some interest in it and my Dad being my chemistry teacher at school probably pointed me in that direction too!
What’s the best part of your job?
I really enjoy the interactions with people and leading groups and teams. I also enjoy coming up with solutions to emerging issues in the dairy industry that MilkTestNZ can help out with.
How did you get involved with the industry?
My first job in the dairy industry was with MilkTestNZ. My work at university was in the agriculture sector so I was keen to stay involved in that area, hence I was happy to work in the dairy industry. I should probably clarify that MilkTestNZ is an independent testing laboratory and we do testing for the majority of raw milk produced in the country, including that from the Dairy Goat Co-op. We also test sheep and buffalo milk, and last season even tested some deer milk for the first time.
Dairy indirectly employs so many Kiwis across New Zealand. What sums up the Kiwi attitude to you?
Action and getting things done. Being practical and finding solutions to problems. Not being afraid to get your hands dirty!
Do you like milk? What’s your favourite dairy product?
I put milk in my coffee and tea, but that is about the extent of it. I am a big fan of cheese though.
What do you think people think about Fonterra?
I think most people understand the importance of Fonterra and the dairy industry to New Zealand and to the economy. It employs a lot of people both directly and indirectly. If the dairy industry is thriving then the country is probably doing well.