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4 Industry Challenges Faced by the Food Industry

4 Industry Challenges Faced by the Food Industry
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The food and beverage industry is one of the most tightly regulated and hardest to compete in. The recent pandemic showed how essential the industry is, but how fragile it can be as well. This has posed several new challenges for retailers, manufacturers, and the restaurant industry. That's on top of the constant changes in consumer behavior and movements in global trade. Let's take a look at a few challenges facing the food industry right now.

Labor Shortages

Grocery stores have seen an increase in demand lately, and the food industry is dealing with labor shortages across the board. This makes it kind of an anomaly when considering that many other industries are downsizing at the moment.

More demand means more employees, and more employees mean higher carrying and overhead costs. Companies also have to pay more to recruit, onboard, and train employees. They will have to work harder to retain them with better pay and packages as well, which further increases costs.

Protecting Employees

Having more employees also increases the risk of contamination. Entire shop floors will have to be reimagined to facilitate distancing. Some companies may have to institute new rules for lunch breaks to keep contact to a minimum. Ventilation and filtration will also need to become a priority and protocols will need to be implemented if an employee contracts Covid-19.

Supply Chain Pressures

The fragility of the global and local supply chain has been exposed over the last year, and many companies have realized how poorly prepared they were. Shortages or irregular supply puts a lot of stress on manufacturers and retailers who now have to better manage their inventory and diversify their supply chain.

More manufacturers are also understanding the importance of tracking in the shipping process. Human error can lead to even more stress on the supply chain, delays, and loss of product. This is why more are implementing barcode solutions for enhanced traceability.

For those in the sector who would like to learn more about barcoding and how it could improve the manufacturing process at every stage, we suggest you give Diagraph a look. Diagraph has an extensive selection of product, case, and pallet coding solutions, as well as software solutions for management.

Cargo Theft

As if mounting pressures on the supply chain weren’t enough, cargo theft is also on the rise in the food industry. The FBI stated that cargo theft costs American businesses over $30 billion per year, with the food industry being the most targeted. The worst part is that food and safety laws prohibit food that is recovered to be sold.

Unsecured loading docks are one of the prime targets for thieves. That’s why the FSMA now requires that all food businesses have food defense plans with security measures for specific outside areas, including loading docks.

The food and beverage industry has never been easy to navigate and the recent pandemic only made things worse. The next decade will be one of massive change and disruption and only those who are ready and willing to adapt will survive.

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Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers is the Innovation Consultant at Collective Campus.

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