Last updated: 09.04.13

Food manufacturers face barriers to business training

Finding time for delivering food safety courses and monitoring their effectiveness are the main barriers to high-quality training.

This is according to a new survey conducted by Campden BRI, Alchemy Systems, BRC Global Standards and Safe Quality Food, which questioned 649 global food and drink manufacturers and processors.

It was revealed more than 70 per cent of respondents struggle to fit business training into their busy schedule, while 43 per cent said measuring the impact of their training programmes is obstructing workplace learning.

A number of innovative practices are being used by companies, as 39 per cent stated they have rolled out e-learning and 14 per cent rely on interactive training. However, this figure is likely to be higher if more firms knew the benefits online learning systems can have in reducing administrative costs and freeing up time.

Bertrand Emond, head of membership and training at Campden BRI, said the results of the survey provide a complete picture of the current activities and practices in food safety training across the whole industry.

"By conducting the survey each year we will be able to track developments and trends and develop solutions to some of the challenges identified," he added.

Most of the food companies questioned (85 per cent) use on-the-job training, while many others roll out refresher courses and classroom-based instruction.

However, only 66 per cent of organisations said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the standard of training being undertaken, which could be explained by the problems they are encountering with resources or keeping their curriculum up to date.

Laura Dunn Nelson, director of industry relations at Alchemy Systems, stated that as safety training is critical to the food manufacturing sector, the study provides manufacturers and processors with the chance to benchmark their results against competitors and "identify any opportunities for development".

The companies surveyed spanned the entire industry - selling dairy, meat, baking, fish and poultry products - and ranged in size from 50 employees to more than 1,000.