As Food Safety Changes, Need for Strong Workforce is Constant

Employee Benefits, Food & Agribusiness, War For Talent

There has been buzz recently about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas, and his new approach to food protection. This approach, called the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, showcases the FDA’s interest in taking a more forward-thinking stance on food safety.

This initiative builds on the FDA’s efforts to implement their Food Safety Modernization Act by leveraging the use of emerging technologies as well as new approaches to some of the food system’s biggest food safety challenges.

The approach leans heavily on the role of technology and traceability (blockchain, sensor technology, artificial intelligence) to create a more digital, traceable, and safer food system. The FDA has recognized that advancing technologies are changing at a rapid pace and consumers are accessing their food in ways not even considered just five years ago. They are anticipating that the next decade will bring significant innovation in the production, delivery and traceability of food.  Even with the spotlight on digital innovation, the future of food safety does not start with technology. In the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, one constant remains: people.

However, with historically low unemployment numbers, dairy processors find themselves competing, not over a limited pool of milk, but a limited pool of talent. Recruitment tools include company culture, work environment and, of course, pay, but one of the most critical attraction tools is your company’s benefits package. Certainly, your team knows the hard work it takes to make sure your traditional benefits (i.e., health, dental and vision insurance) retain their value and are financially sustainable.

Next Generation Benefits for Your Workforce

Human resource teams are increasingly developing out-of-the box approaches to benefit packages that attract and retain the next generation of workers.

One such trend that employers of all types may explore is adding supplemental or worksite options to your benefits portfolio. These plans can increase the value of your benefit offerings and can largely be deployed at little-to-no cost to employers. There are a few basic types of worksite benefits:

  • Traditional supplemental benefits: There are financial benefits you can add to your arsenal which can increase the quality and perception of your benefit package. Benefits such as critical illness or accident insurance can provide your employees with short-term financial resources during a time of great need. Other benefits such as voluntary life insurance can add long-term financial resources to an individual’s portfolio with coverage availability and pricing not typically available in the retail market.
  • Lifestyle benefits:  There are a number of truly creative benefit offerings available in the market. These outside-the-box options allow employers to differentiate themselves. Examples include student loan repayment programs (SLRPs)or even pet insurance. The key to these non-traditional offerings is understanding your employee population and what their unique needs may be, then determining how you as an employer can provide them with greater value.

To get cheese and dairy products out the back door, you need people coming in the front! With a little creativity, some expert advice, and outside-the-box thinking, your HR team will be able to ramp up recruitment and create the strong, stable workforce your business needs to succeed.

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