In this new content series, Food & Drink Business takes a closer look at the opportunities inherent in the fast-evolving food processing industry, with insights from leaders at companies which have signed up to exhibit at APPEX 24.
This month we speak to Tony Anevski from Multivac Australia
The Australian manufacturing sector is at a critical juncture as it seeks to grow onshore capacity and capability while remaining globally competitive. With reference to your business, what do you see as a) the key challenges and b) the main growth opportunities inherent to this dynamic sector?
From an industry and customer perspective, labour shortages will continue to be a challenge. From our perspective access to skilled labour, both locally and abroad has been challenging over the last three years. The current economic climate and interest rate rises, will make it challenging for smaller businesses to raise necessary funds. Supply chain issues continue to put pressure on components and lead times, but we continue to operate and grow largely due to our integrated manufacturing model as well as our expansive local stock strategy.
Despite these challenges we are continuing to see a strong appetite for investment nationwide, with year-on-year growth, particularly in automated solutions which yield significant productivity and labour savings for our clients. Furthermore, we see large opportunities where our packaging technologies can offer greater use of more sustainable materials as well as more energy efficient operation. Within our processing equipment portfolio, we are also seeing a higher demand for protein/meat recovery systems as well as cooked meat slicing and fresh meat portioning systems which maximise yield and minimise product give away.
What role has automation played in growing your business and advancing your customers production performance?
In the past, our core business mostly centred around individual machines or perhaps 2-3 machines from our portfolio running inline. More so than before, we have predominantly delivered and managed fully automated turnkey lines, over the last two years. We have seen our customers benefit by achieving higher throughputs and maintaining supply, often in the face of significantly reduced workforce availability.
What innovative technology/product/solution has your company brought to market recently that sets you apart from your competitors?
Multivac offers fully integrated and fully customisable solutions including robotic loading both for primary and end of line packaging. Multivac’s automated systems are manufactured to the highest hygienic standards and integrated inhouse. Locally, Multivac Australia is the exclusive distributor for an extensive range of industry leaders that allow us to offer full end to end solutions.
Over the last two years we have been able to deliver full factory fit outs for the processing and packaging of fresh meat, cooked meat, petfood, poultry and plant based products. These solutions are backed by our extensive after sales and service network on a national level. During this time we have relocated to larger facilities in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane to meet the growing demand, with the next step focusing on expansion of our Melbourne based headquarters, including a new purpose built facility with localised manufacturing.
Working with your customers, what key trends are you observing unfold in the Australasian food and beverage processing sector.
Food and beverage market segments continue to grow but the dynamic is changing as the demographics of the population changes, we continue to see more demand for smaller portions and ready to eat meals. A focus on more sustainable packaging materials will continue to be of utmost importance and as an organisation we will continue to be at the forefront of these discussions with our various offerings of commercially proven and established consumables.
APPEX is a new, all-encompassing trade show for the processing and packaging industry. Your company has signed up as an exhibitor at the inaugural show in March 2024, what made it a compelling platform for your business?
The emphasis on packaging and processing equipment, including end of line, aligns with our business model and product offering. The broad industry coverage of APPEX allows us to showcase our solutions to the most diverse range of customers ever on Australian shores and it also allows us to showcase our bakery solutions. We choose APPEX in 2024.