In this exclusive video interview – filmed at this year’s event, sponsored by Columbus – Clothier explained that despite the chaos caused by the growing number of crises, it was reassuring that all companies in the food and beverage industry face the same challenges.
“We live in an inflationary environment and everyone is in the same boat,”he said. “We have to manage what we can as best we can, but at the same time it’s about working and using those customer relationships to move all of our businesses and the entire food sector to a more sustainable place. .
Another of Clothier’s takeaways from this year’s event was the potential of automation to help improve businesses. He explained how Wyke Farms had already implemented automated technology to help upgrade the workforce while increasing production.
“To do this we need to increase our production per person, so we are investing in higher speed packaging lines and technology so we can do twice as much,” he explained.
“For example, we are currently building a new butter dairy and are investing in lines ranging from 80 packs per minute to 200 packs per minute, so we can effectively do twice as much with the same amount. of people.
Invest in people
“That’s the kind of investment we’re looking at, but we’re also looking at investing in more automation to reduce training times to train people for new, very complex jobs.”
Clothier went on to discuss the potential of robotics in the food factory, as well as giving examples of how his company had successfully implemented them at the end of the line.
Meanwhile, the challenges of marketing careers in the food industry and the potential of artificial intelligence in food businesses have been key takeaways for Columbus Project Strategy Director Kevin Bullof the Business Leaders Forum 2022.