Flow wrapping solutions can ease labour shortage

Labour shortages already impacting on the fresh produce industry can be addressed in part by embracing automated packaging machinery, states Tisomi, one of the UK’s leading specialists in horizontal flow wrapping solutions.

Flow wrapping technology from Tisomi can reduce growers’ labour requirements in the pack house and release staff for picking duties, thereby helping to fill the void caused by any shortfall of seasonal workers from overseas.

A survey of growers, carried out by the BBC during May and June 2017 as harvesting started to peak, found that just over 50 per cent were not sure if they had enough seasonal workers or had fewer than they needed, with 78 per cent saying recruitment had been more difficult than last year. There seems to be a variety of factors, one of them being the uncertainty created by Brexit.

However, while the overseas workforce seems to be shrinking in the UK’s fields, demand for British produce is growing, making the need for cost-effective flexible packaging solutions to ensure speed to market even more essential once crops have been picked.

The extensive choice of flow wrapping equipment for fruit and vegetables is leading many supermarkets to prefer this type of packaging. Fresh produce suppliers, irrespective of size, might have to consider investing in flow wrappers if they are to remain competitive when dealing with high street chains.

No two fresh produce packaging applications are the same. Tisomi provides flexible flow wrapping systems that can safely and quickly wrap a whole range of different shaped crops in any configuration, while at the same time maximising performance and visibility on retailers’ shelves.

From edge to edge packaging, to personalised wrapping, Tisomi has a choice of flow wrapping solutions to meet the needs of growers and suppliers of fresh produce, from heavy bulk items like turnips to delicate fruit such as raspberries.

Flow wrappers can comfortably handle an immense array of products and is used to pack hundreds of thousands of essential salad, vegetable and fruit products, including tomatoes, lettuces, strawberries, apples, courgettes, potatoes, cabbages and carrots along with numerous related items.

Businesses cannot stand still. With Brexit looming over the horizon, fresh produce companies’ ability to meet increasing demand with a potentially reduced workforce will be a test of the fittest – using machinery that facilitates less manual handling, better pack presentation and performance could have long-term value.

Yorkshire-based Tisomi can supply a full range of quality flow wrapping systems, supported by an after sales service for a variety of food products.

Tisomi offers comprehensive product trials at its Wetherby facility to ensure accurate product alignment, a secure seal and the best possible product presentation.