With the food and beverage industry facing so many challenges, from rising raw material costs and implementing more stringent food safety plans to GMO labeling legislation changes and workforce shortages, here’s some good news for a change.
I’m an avid reader of food labels. On a typical trip to the supermarket, I get some of my most useful reading accomplished. When buying a new food or beverage product, I always check the total number of calories per serving and per container, as well as the trans fat, fiber and sugar levels.
While FSMA requirements, staffing issues, increased productivity and constantly evolving consumer demands may be top of mind for many people reading this column, sustainability remains one of the top 10 trends affecting plant operations, according to Food Engineering’s most recent State of Food Manufacturing report.
Last month, I dedicated this column to the changes taking place at industry trade shows and how our industry is focused on giving back by supporting charities at these venues. This month, I’d like to thank those individuals who are giving back to the food and beverage industry by participating as speakers at Food Engineering’s 2014 Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference scheduled for April 6-9 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
As this issue’s cover story explains, the state of food manufacturing is slowly trending upward. But, while business indicators are gradually improving, some of the current challenges in food manufacturing remain unchanged: the need for increased automation, advances in food safety and a more highly skilled workforce.