PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 43

STATE OF EMPLOYMENT
LABOR PAINS
Processors are coping with labor shortages amid growing product demand.
By Jordan Tyler | jtyler@sosland.com
P
Pet food sales and production volume soared in 2020.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) clocked
pet food and treat sales at $42 billion. Alltech estimated
9.4 million metric tons of pet food were produced in
North America in 2020, up 7% from 2019. Global pet
food production was up 8% year-over-year in 2020, totaling
29.3 million metric tons.
The successes seen in this market, however, have not
come without challenges. Employment is one - more
specifically, a lack of available labor in an industry where
production is booming.
" As we work together through the challenges our
industry faces driven by COVID, and the fallout created
by the pandemic - labor and material shortages,
transportation issues, inflation and choppy recovery -
there has never been a better time to be in the pet care
industry! " said Chris Hamilton, president, Red Collar
Pet Foods, Franklin, Tenn. " With robust growth driven
by surging pet purchases during the pandemic, premiumization
and growth in new channels and partitions,
job availability is very high. Of course, navigating these
dynamic times is difficult. "
Barbara Hicks, chief human resources officer, Alphia,
Bern, Kan., echoed this sentiment.
" The availability of talent is short in the current job
market, with more jobs available than employable people, "
she said. " The pet food space is especially tight and, considering
how complex many of our roles are, this presents
an even narrower labor pool. This is forcing employers to
explore new ways to attract and retain talent. "
The labor shortage is resulting in production issues
for some processors, causing them to run below capacity
because they cannot fully staff their production lines
or certain stages of their process. Evanger's Dog and Cat
Food Company, Markham, Ill., reported it is experiencing
the greatest labor shortages among its entry-level
production and shipping department positions.
" In the past, we would post a position and receive more
than a hundred qualified applicants. Now, we're pleased if
we receive one or two qualified applicants, " Hicks added.
Many roles in this industry are reliant on manual
labor, requiring employees to lift heavy objects, stand
on their feet for long periods of time, endure extreme
temperatures depending on the product being manufactured,
or work extended production shifts.
" The challenge is finding people who are willing to work
in this type of environment when there are many positions
available that have more favorable conditions, " Hicks explained.
" We counter objections by focusing on the growth
potential and learning opportunities we can offer. "
Attractive opportunities
There are several ways pet food and treat processors can
attract and retain talent. In a crowded marketplace and
amid a labor shortage, many companies are going beyond
the promotion of competitive wages and benefits
www.petfoodprocessing.net | October 2021 | PET FOOD PROCESSING 43
For many companies,
demand for pet
food and resulting
production rates
are outpacing the
available labor pool.
Alphia
http://www.petfoodprocessing.net

PET Food Processing - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - October 2021

PET Food Processing - October 2021 - Intro
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 1
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 2
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 3
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 4
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 5
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 6
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 7
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 8
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 9
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 10
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 11
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 12
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 13
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 14
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 15
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 16
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 17
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 18
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 19
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 20
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 21
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 26
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 28
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 30
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 31
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 33
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 35
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 36
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 38
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 40
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PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 42
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 43
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https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-october-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-september-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-june-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-march-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_10_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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