Automation cited as a key contributor to addressing food industry’s labour shortages

With the media full of reports of the serious labour shortages that the industry is currently facing. Interfood, which represents Buhmann in the UK and Ireland, through its dedicated packing solutions division, said the need for automation has never been greater.

While automating food processing operations is obviously not a cure, it can contribute significantly in helping to ensure that the UK’s retail shelves stay well stocked, the company said.

Sam Cartwright, the manager of Interfood’s packing solutions division, said: “Tthere has been a trend towards automating end-of-line operations over the last few years, but with the scale of the issues surrounding labour shortages, this has ramped up significantly in recent months. by assigning some of the more repetitive processes to integrated automated packing machines, operators can be freed up to undertake more valuable tasks.

“We are not advocating automation as the complete solution but its role is brought into sharp focus at a time when the industry is battling to recruit and retain sufficient numbers to meet the nation’s demand for food.”

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