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Labour Challenges in Poultry Processing

The COVID-19 pandemic left a profound and lasting impact on labour shortages within the poultry processing industry. Even as the pandemic subsides, the repercussions persist. During the height of the pandemic, many workers exited the industry and have not returned. Today, processing plants find themselves in fierce competition with other sectors to secure the manual labour they rely on. This labour scarcity presents a barrier to the growth of businesses within the poultry processing sector.

From Farm to Processing 

Once the demand for processed poultry products is identified in the local or regional markets, a farmer may decide to expand into processing. The transition from farming to processing is extensive and  requires careful planning and execution.

To begin, it is crucial to understand the preferences and buying behaviour of potential customers,  whether they are retailers, restaurants, or end consumers. This market insight will guide the development of products that meet customer needs and drive sales.

Joining national or regional industry associations is an essential step. These organizations provide  valuable resources, including access to industry reports, regulatory updates, and networking opportunities. Attending networking events hosted by these associations can also facilitate connections with  industry experts and potential business partners.

BAADER is a specialist in advising on the processing process. With our long-standing commitment  to the poultry industry, we are a qualified partner, offering comprehensive processing solutions that  cater to the specific needs of your operation. Our expertise ensures that your transition from farm to  processing is smooth, efficient, and compliant with industry standards. 

Compact Stand-Alone Processing Plant

The BAADER portfolio is extensive and designed to meet demand regardless of local requirements, processing  speed, or automation level. We are committed to upholding the best processing practices for live bird handling,  hygiene, and product quality, no matter the scale of your operation.

When considering the initial investment in a processing plant, it is crucial to choose a solution that fits your current  needs while allowing for future expansion. An excellent way to start processing is by installing the BAADER Com pact Plant. This ‘plug and process’ solution is easy to install and includes features such as stunning that adheres to  the highest animal welfare standards, effective scalding and plucking, and comfortable manual evisceration. The  BAADER Compact Plant can handle 600 to 1600 broilers per hour, depending on chicken size.

The system offers a high degree of flexibility with adjustable bleeding time, scalding time, and line speed, ensuring  that your processing can adapt to various requirements.

The Compact Plant benefits from the same quality components as our conventional high-speed processing  solutions and is covered by the same comprehensive spare parts service. Conveyorized, in-line processing provides  significant labour savings, increases efficiency, and enhances food safety. Additionally, the manual evisceration  process is more manageable on an overhead conveyor, improving workers’ welfare and ergonomics.

With the BAADER Compact Plant, you get a robust and flexible solution that meets the highest standards of quality  and efficiency, paving the way for a successful entry into poultry processing. 

Customized Solutions for Higher Line Speeds

Higher line speeds require customized solutions to best fit your production requirements. The extensive BAADER  portfolio is designed to meet these demands, allowing for the creation of tailored solutions that perfectly fit your  specific needs. Our modular design enables continuous business growth, providing the flexibility to scale your  operations whenever required.

When working with BAADER, you can be confident in receiving advice based on a thorough analysis of your farm  characteristics, transportation facilities, and production requirements. Whether you are starting your very first  processing plant or expanding your production, we provide comprehensive guidance on all aspects of poultry processing. This includes live bird handling systems, bleeding, scalding and picking times, and the appropriate levels  of automation.

Our expert team ensures that every solution is tailored to meet your specific needs, optimizing efficiency and  product quality. With BAADER, you have a trusted partner dedicated to supporting your growth and success in the  poultry processing industry. 

Careful Handling of Live Chickens 

Transporting birds from the safe farming environment to  the processing plant is a challenging task that impacts  animal welfare, meat quality, and ultimately, plant profit ability. At BAADER, we understand these challenges and  offer a range of live bird handling systems with varying  degrees of automation. Our solutions cover every stage  of the process, including the catching process, lairage  and reception area, destacking and stacking, and wash ing and disinfection. This design flexibility allows you to  choose the system that best fits your operational needs  and ensures optimal animal welfare and product quality

Learn more about our crate and drawer systems

Modular Slaughtering Lines for Future Growth

Modularity is the key to designing a slaughtering line that delivers the highest quality chicken both now and in the future. At BAADER, we prioritize this modular approach when planning and designing slaughterhouses in collaboration with our customers. By understanding your current needs and future plans, we create solutions that not only address immediate requirements but also facilitate easy expansion.

This forward-thinking strategy ensures that your slaughtering line remains adaptable and scalable, allowing you to maintain superior product quality and operational efficiency as your business grows.

Evisceration Solutions for Every Need

Evisceration is the critical process of opening the slaughtered bird and removing the viscera (internal organs and  intestines). This can be done manually, semi-automatically, or fully automatically, and BAADER offers solutions  for all these methods. From manual hand tools to simple semi-automatic devices to fully automated evisceration,  cleaning, and washing lines, we provide the options to match your specific needs.

Manual processing requires a large number of workers on the line, while automatic evisceration represents the pinnacle of modern poultry processing, operating with minimal labour. The decision to choose manual or automated  processes depends on factors such as line speed and access to skilled labour. BAADER’s comprehensive range of  evisceration solutions ensures that you can select the most efficient and cost-effective method for your operation,  whether you are just starting out or looking to upgrade your processing capabilities. 

Learn more about our automatic evisceration solutions

Effective Chilling to Optimize Shelf-Life

After meticulously processing each bird to ensure maximum quality and value, it is crucial to effectively minimize bacterial growth and extend product shelf-life. Achieving these objectives is essential for poultry pro cessors to deliver high-quality and safe food.

BAADER provides a range of chilling solutions, utilizing either water or air as the cooling element. These solu tions are designed to efficiently lower the core tempera ture of each bird to the desired level.

Both water and air chilling methods have their unique advantages and challenges. Water chilling is quick and increases yield but requires careful management to avoid cross-contamination and ensure optimal shelf-life. Inline air chilling is slower but enhances product tender ness and minimizes contamination risks, with controlled weight management through moisturizing. Each proces sor must choose the most suitable method to meet their specific market needs and quality standards.

Learn more about our chilling solutions

Flexibility to Produce a Variety of Products

Whether a processor aims to produce whole chickens or enhance the product’s value through portioning, skinning,  or deboning, BAADER offers tailored solutions to meet these needs. BAADER provides an array of equipment for  weighing, cutting, grading, and packing, enabling even small-scale processors to efficiently meet the demands of  their local markets. Our tailored solutions and modular approach ensure that your processing plant can adapt and  expand seamlessly, supporting your business as it grows and evolves. 

Expert Guidance for Your Poultry Processing Needs

Whether you are considering starting a poultry processing plant or looking to increase your capacity, we offer valuable advice on all process steps. Please feel free to reach out to us using the contact form. Our local experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

Expanding Activities in Latin America

On January 26th, 2024, BAADER opened an office in Querétaro, Mexico, demonstrating our dedication to providing complete poultry processing solutions to customers in Mexico and beyond. Having a local presence improves communication and fosters stronger relationships with our Latin American customers.

Our journey across Latin America began decades ago, and our commitment to the region has only deepened with time. The expansion in Mexico underscores the increasing demand for efficient processing solutions and the necessity for enhanced sales support and service.

The trust and loyalty that poultry processors have consistently placed in BAADER solutions form the bedrock upon which we continue to build our business. As we embark on this new chapter of growth, we remain steadfast in our dedication to delivering excellence.

Committed
Leadership of
BAADER Mexico

Meet Victor Garcia, Managing Director of BAADER Food Systems Mexico. With extensive experience in poultry processing, Victor understands market dynamics and local processing needs. His expertise helps him provide optimal layout suggestions, improve line efficiency, and integrate new technologies. Victor’s dedication ensures customers receive solutions that will enhance their operations.

I am thrilled to bring BAADER’s expertise and innovation directly to this vibrant community. Our mission here is clear: to deliver unparalleled service and total solutions. With a dedicated team and a commitment to excellence, we look forward to forging lasting partnerships and making a meaningful impact in the market and the community we serve.
Victor Garcia, Managing Director of BAADER Food Systems Mexico

Meet Victor and His Team at Figap 2024

To further facilitate close contact with our partners, we will participate in the FIGAP show from October 16 to 18. We invite you to visit the BAADER booth, number 1142, to discuss innovative solutions for the Mexican poultry processing industry.

Delivering Prompt
Local Support

From our Mexican office, we offer prompt local service support with a deep understanding of both local production practices and BAADER machinery. The service team is equipped to swiftly address any issues that may arise, ensuring minimal downtime for our customers. At the same time, our global experts stand ready to support our local BAADER team whenever necessary.

Stocked Warehouse

The new office in Querétaro features a stocked warehouse of essential spare parts, strategically positioned to ensure quickt response times and safeguard our customers’ uptime. The strategic location of the office facilitates efficient logistics and seamless support.

Showroom With Our Latest Technological Innovations

Furthermore, we have established a showroom at our premises in Querétaro, designed to showcase our latest technological innovations. This showroom serves as a dynamic space where customers and partners can experience firsthand the capabilities of our equipment and software solutions.

Presentations and Live Demonstrations

Visitors can explore the functionality, efficiency, and versatility of our products through presentations and live demonstrations, gaining valuable insights. This space is intended for showcasing new product launches and market-relevant solutions

Reach Out to Our Mexico office

For any questions or requirements, feel free to reach out to our newly established Mexico office. They are ready to assist with expert processing guidance.

BAADER Food Systems Mexico
P.º Centenario del Ejército Mexicano
Cond. E, Nave E1-095, Pq. Ind. Terra Park Centenario
76269 Querétaro, México
E-Mail: ba-mx@baader.com
Tel.+52 55 7924 4146

The COVID-19 pandemic left a profound and lasting impact on labour shortages within the poultry processing industry. Even as the pandemic subsides, the repercussions persist. During the height of the pandemic, many workers exited the industry and have not returned. Today, processing plants find themselves in fierce competition with other sectors to secure the manual labour they rely on. This labour scarcity presents a barrier to the growth of businesses within the poultry processing sector.

The challenge is twofold. Firstly, the industry grapples with a scarcity of workers for tasks ranging from bird catching on the farms to processing within the plants. Secondly, retaining a stable workforce has grown increasingly challenging due to the physically demanding nature of the work and often undesirable working conditions. These factors have led to elevated employee turnover rates and have made it difficult to find and retain skilled labour, giving rise to concerns about the future availability of a skilled workforce.

Automation and New Technologies

The continuously rising line speeds necessitate increased automation, as the tasks are becoming progressively more complex for human operators to manage efficiently and consistently. To tackle the challenge of sustaining a workforce, the industry is actively exploring automation as a potential remedy to alleviate the labor-intensive nature of processing tasks. Automation in the poultry processing industry can encompass a wide range of processes, each aimed at improving productivity, consistency, and product quality. Automation is currently applied to a range of crucial processes, including live bird catching, evisceration, giblet harvesting, portioning, deboning, and packaging. BAADER is continually advancing the frontier of automation through the creation of both modest and extensive initiatives. These include developments like fully automatic giblet harvesting and intelligent meat deboning, but also automated pasteurization of scalding water, automated solutions for unblocking the Head Puller, and even the integration of automation in maintenance tasks, such as automatic lubrication systems for the reception system.

The most cutting-edge technology employs AI-powered vision systems, allowing for efficient quality control at high processing speeds without necessitating additional labour in the process. The implementation of automation is not only a means to address labour shortages but also a pathway to elevate the efficiency and competitiveness of the industry.

The BAADER Breast Cap Deboner 660A heavily reduces the number of workers on the deboning line as it only requires two loading workers to run 70 caps per minute.

The younger generation is tech-savvy and appreciates workplaces that incorporate modern technology. They may prefer companies that use automation and digital tools to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and provide opportunities for skill development in tech-related areas. As a result, this demographic is apt to wholeheartedly embrace innovative processing technologies and efficiently navigate automated equipment, as well as the human-machine interfaces integral to these solutions.

Attracting the Next Generation

Training and educational programs are also being developed to enhance the skills of workers and make the industry more appealing to the younger generation. Younger workers prioritize their health and safety, and they look for poultry processing facilities that offer a secure working environment with strong safety protocols, comprehensive training, and easy access to personal protective equipment. While the use of sharp tools and machinery, as well as repetitive tasks, can pose challenges related to injuries and health risks for employees, the implementation of adequate safety measures and training programs will address these concerns effectively.

When automatic processing equipment supplants manual tasks, it often leads to improved worker safety. CE-certified machines are equipped with safety features designed to meet the most rigorous safety requirements worldwide.

Younger workers prioritize both job security and opportunities for career advancement. They seek employers that provide a sense of stability and avenues for professional growth, including possibilities for promotions, skill development initiatives, and educational support. When given the opportunity to explore various roles within the organization, they are more likely to commit to longer-term employment.

Understanding and catering to the expectations of the younger generation is crucial for the poultry processing industry as it seeks to attract and retain a skilled and motivated workforce. By adapting to these preferences and providing a positive workplace environment, poultry processing companies can position themselves as desirable employers for the younger generation, ensuring the industry's long-term sustainability.

Discover how the Breast Cap Deboner 660A boosted production for Polish poultry processor Smolarek.

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Labour Challenges in Poultry Processing

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