Just, the vegan food firm, is to open a manufacturing site in Asia
The firm, formerly known as Hampton Creek, p...
The vegan food startup, Just, has announced plans to open its first manufacturing facility outside the US.
The firm, formerly known as Hampton Creek, plans to open a manufacturing site in Asia by the end of the year.
“If we were starting the business from scratch we’d probably start in Asia,” the CEO of Just, Josh Tetrick informed Foodnavigator-Asia.
“If we look where the demand is likely to be, where food security is the biggest concern, and where cultural connection to our products could be the highest, then that could be Asia.”
The billion-dollar startup aims to expand its products to Japan, China, and Singapore.
Asia has become the brand’s focus for expansion due to its concerns for food security and influence on food culture. Several big investors in the firm are also based in Asia.
The startup’s cannon of products feature a cohort of dressings and condiments, including Just Mayo, and Just Ranch, as well as sweeter alternatives like Just Cookie Dough.
The firm has recently launched Just Scramble – a vegan alternative to eggs created from mung beans.
The expansion follows Just’s statement to “do everything they possibly can every single day to increase the probability that, before we die, a fair, honest and just food system is the food system in every community”.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.