More local food companies getting on board productivity drive

Singapore - More companies in the food industry here are getting on board the productivity drive.

Some 1,300 food companies embarked on productivity and service upgrading projects as of September this year since a national push to boost productivity in this sector was launched in 2011.

The figure is a hike from the 850 firms that did so from 2011 to 2013.

Around 4,000 staff from food companies have also undergone productivity training from 2011 till September, up from 2,200 from 2011 to 2013.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong gave the update at the Food Productivity Conference held at the Singapore Expo on Monday morning.

He said progress made in the sector's productivity drive has been good, but more must be done.

Mr Gan suggested four areas of focus for food firms as they look for efficient ways to grow: innovation, collaboration, technology and people.

Companies are encouraged to innovate and come up with new products not available in the market to capture high value-add.

Firms can also work together with other players to outsource non-core processes, like collaborating with dishwashing firms to install dishwashing facilities in their restaurants.

Restaurants can also tap on technology, like allowing customers to order and pay through mobile applications or digital service kiosks, to reduce queueing time.

Mr Gan also said firms should focus on recruiting the righy talent and creating an environment that nurtures and retains talent.

Some 300 participants attended the conference.