Tomra publishes new eBook for potato fresh packers

Tomra Food has published an eBook to help potato fresh packers tackle operational challenges intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 19-page publication, downloadable free-of-charge from the company’s website, offers information and advice which will be helpful to packhouses not only now, while market conditions are distorted, but also long after the pandemic has passed.

The eBook starts by acknowledging that the damage inflicted on the potato industry by Covid-19 is not even-handed. While many potato growers and processors have suffered because of loss of demand from foodservice outlets, other growers and packers are reportedly thriving because retail sales of fresh pack potatoes have been boosted by the increased frequency of home-cooking. The eBook reports how the monetary value of potato sales at multiple-outlet supermarkets quickly increased by 67%.

The eBook welcomes the fact that consumers have rediscovered fresh potatoes, but also asks whether this newfound fondness will last. Surveys report that a majority of consumers expect to continue cooking more at home after the pandemic, and 63% of Millennials say they will keep on eating the comfort foods they have enjoyed during lockdowns. Even if this should not prove to be the case, the global consumption of fresh potatoes is rising: the growing numbers of people earning middle-class incomes in developing eastern nations, where rice is the traditionally favoured staple, are acquiring more varied tastes influenced by western-style diets.

In the eBook, Tomra analyses what it believes are the six most significant challenges facing packers now and after the pandemic:

  1. Keeping up with demand
  2. Recruiting and retaining labor
  3. Responding with agility
  4. Maximising productivity
  5. Guaranteeing consistent product quality
  6. Digital transformation to improve operational efficiencies

Tomra also analyses how, in facing up to these challenges, state-of-the-art sorting technologies can provide the solutions.

A copy of the eBook, titled ‘Potato Fresh Packers and COVID-19 Challenges’, can be downloaded here.

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