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Commodity and packaging material price increase remain the biggest concern for the food and drink processing industry, according to a survey by UK-based FoodProductionDaily.com.

A total of 80% of the survey participants cite this as a concern. Food and drink industry survey participants are cautiously optimistic about 2011, with just over 63% of the respondents bullish about market conditions for the sector.

The other key findings of the survey are:

  • Over half of the respondents plan to increase production capacity in 2011.
  • Nearly 40% of participants expect to plough more cash into robotics systems in the next 12 months.
  • Nearly 40% of the participants reckon that cash flow will continue to impact their production in 2011.
  • Plant safety remains critical. Over 42% per cent of those surveyed said that they will invest in new methods for pathogen control in 2011.
  • More than 50% said they will change plant layout and design to improve safety next year.
  • Over 64% of those polled revealed that hygienic design of equipment will be a strategy next year.

Respondents said they will be evaluating a broad range of packaging savings in the next 12 months, with over half opting for thinner materials and nearly 52% expecting to incorporate more recycled than virgin polymers in their packaging next year.

The industry’s staffing levels look set to remain relatively unchanged the with over half the respondents not planning to recruit in the coming months.  — Source: FoodProductionDaily.com

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