Lack of digital transformation skills is critical in Food Industry

EIT Digital Professional School
professionalschool@eitdigital.eu

‘Digital transformation is becoming an issue of primary importance in the European food industry’, says András Sebők, General Manager at Campden BRI Hungary and Chair of R&D Expert Group at FoodDrinkEurope. ‘Digital transformation is needed due to consumer and societal pressure. But the problem is the lack of skilled people to make it happen, therefore education is crucial.’

Despite the fact that the food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the European Union, the sector is far behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation. The industry should speed up here, for it faces increasing pressure from the consumer and from society, both having an impact on profit margins. Consumers  for example demand a lot of diverse and personalised food products - at the same cost as a mass-produced items. ‘This is a challenge: to meet the needs of personalisation while still ensuring the benefits of large-scale production.’, Sebők explains.

‘Digitalisation and the industry 4.0 can be a solution to this. There is a big unexploited opportunity in the food industry because many of the available solutions in other industries can be adapted to solve food problems relatively easy.’ Thus, education is needed, because the real risk is that the industry will be limited by the lack of skilled people. ‘Current employees need conversion training; without digital capabilities, they will have difficulty in implementing digital solutions. And you need managers to convey the digitalisation message to staff.’

With this need in mind, Campden BRI-Hungary, together EIT Digital Professional School have developed a 4-day professional course, Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 in Food Processing, aimed at training executives and food business leaders. ‘By bringing them together and exchanging ideas, then we will significantly increase the probability of successfully implementing the digital transformation of the European food industry.’, András Sebők concludes.

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