A new survey by Campden BRI, Alchemy Systems, LP and in partnership with BRC and SQF questioned 649 food and drink manufacturers and processors worldwide to identify the needs, effectiveness and challenges of food safety training in the industry.
While companies recognized improved product quality and higher employee morale as the greatest benefits of effective food safety training, over 70% of those surveyed said finding the time for training was the greatest challenge. Other barriers cited included verifying the effectiveness of training (43%), dealing with language issues when delivering a consistent training program across global sites (28%), resource problems (24%) and keeping the training curriculum up-to-date (24%).
The companies surveyed represent a cross section of the industry, drawn from across the world. They ranged in size from under 50 employees to over 1,000 and cover many sectors including cereal and baking, dairy, meats, fish and poultry, and packaging.
Laura Dunn Nelson, director of industry relations at Alchemy Systems commented, “With food safety being so critical to the food industry, the importance of adequate training remains vital. The results of this study are an excellent way for food manufacturers and processors to benchmark their performance against their competitors and identify any opportunities for development.”
Almost 85% of food companies use on-the-job training, which was closely followed by reading policies, refresher courses and traditional classroom-based learning. It is worth noting that e-learning and interactive training were used by 39% and 14% of companies, respectively. However, with only 66% of companies stating they are very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of training undertaken there is clearly room for improvement. The biggest deficiencies identified were a lack of employee understanding and incomplete training records.
Bertrand Emond, head of membership and training at Campden BRI said, “The results of this survey provide a complete picture of the current activities and practices in food safety training across the 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.”
To read the full results of the study, which surveyed companies on all areas of food safety from auditing and measuring competency to management of training records, visit: http://www.alchemysystems.com/files/4813/6508/4362/global_training_survey_findings.pdf