We’ve previously highlighted some of the challenges that the vehicle manufacturing industry has faced over the past couple of years, and so we thought we’d take a look at the food manufacturing industry, examining some of the changes and challenges they’re up against.
Food production companies must adhere to a number of guidelines and regulations and there’s a daily challenge to remain compliant, whilst still managing to hit targets. Any changes in regulations require swift responses by food manufacturing companies to ensure they stay up to date and show regulators their compliance. This often means changes to strategies, processes and even layouts of manufacturing plants – often with a very quick turnaround. The majority of food standard legislation is set by the European Union and with Brexit approaching, it’s possible that changes are on the horizon for food manufacturers who will need to adapt.
Brexit and supply chains
Regarding Brexit, one of the biggest uncertainties is whether the UK will continue to trade with Europe tariff free. If the pound weakens, it could be a double blow of tariffs and increased costs of imported raw materials. Additionally, dealing with border controls could also increase costs within the supply chain. It would be a case of deciding whether to absorb these costs or pass them on to the consumer.
Increasing the scale of manufacturing
Mass production can be a problem for smaller food manufacturing companies and startups. There are a multitude of factors to take into consideration including, sourcing of ingredients, quality control, compliance, and combining manufacturing and storage within the same environment. This often involves creating temperature control solutions or making better use of space.
Gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, allergen-free – it’s becoming more and more necessary for food manufacturers to cater for all. Whether it’s to accommodate those with intolerances or those who just wish to cut certain things out of their diet, food manufacturing companies must ensure their food is as inclusive as possible. This may mean reconfiguring their existing set up and processes to make room for different production lines to comply with regulations and guidelines for allergens in food production.
What does the future hold?
The food manufacturing industry will always continue to evolve – it’s simply up to companies to keep up to date with changes, finding the best, most innovative and cost-effective solutions to do so.