Professional Manufacturer Of Baked
The ability to be flexible is essential for any food manufacturer looking to withstand the current pressures of the industry.
With a global pandemic, Brexit, a national skills shortage, and the climate crisis, it’s never been more crucial for manufacturers to be agile and resilient. But how should they go about this in a way that doesn’t compromise quality, cost, or the environment? Siemens recently published an industry report which showed that manufacturers and machine builders require stronger partnerships, clearer expectations, and solid relationships with their external technology providers in order to be agile – but doing so can be a puzzle.
Our resident experts at Siemens, Richard Fear and Keith Thornhill, recently sat down to discuss our customers’ biggest quandaries around how to prioritize productivity and agility, whilst keeping sustainability, high quality standards, and cost in the balance.
Q: How important is sustainability for food manufacturers right now?
Richard: When it comes to the industry, you might be surprised to learn that sustainability is relatively low down the priorities list as manufacturers bounce back from the impact of the pandemic. The focus is still on getting back on their feet, with just under a fifth (19%) of businesses we spoke to ranking sustainability as their top strategic priority, while over half (51%) said the same about quality control – though those interviewed said they were likely to see sustainability as a growing priority in the years to come.
Keith: However, consumers are another story, with nearly half of consumers already actively choosing brands due to their environmental credentials. Combine that with upcoming regulatory changes such as the net zero target for 2050, it has never been more crucial to ensure the decisions one manufacturer makes has a positive environmental impact throughout the supply chain.
Richard: As with any new focus, there’s likely to be a few bumps along the way as sustainability enters the spotlight. For example, crisp manufacturers have recently come under pressure to move away from plastic and foil film packaging, with some considering a move to sustainable alternatives such as rice paper to reduce plastic usage dramatically. However, while good for the planet, this swap could put both quality and cost at risk if the properties of rice paper aren’t stress tested in a virtual environment prior to use.