As the UK rejoiced over the hottest summer on record for many years, farmers were fighting an onion crop shortage as the intense heat decimated crops like never seen before. The implications this had on the onion industry was drastic with yields down 25% leading to the price of onions rising 41% as suppliers struggled to operate on their usual pricing strategies. This highlights the severe problem that every stakeholder in the onion industry faces during adverse weather. If no onions are being harvested, then the entire industry will suffer from the farmers right down to the consumer.

With the effects of global warming and climate change ever present and the likelihood that the UK will experience many more hot summers, the question is, what can be done to prevent a repeat of this years’ shortage?

Below are some ideas that could help:

Harvesting onions can be tricky for farmers. They can only thrive in mild conditions, so they need to be planted during spring as soon as the ground can be worked. If it becomes exceedingly warm, it is vital that they are watered more so they can maintain their colour. Once the bulb has developed, onions can easily tolerate temperatures over 25°C. Therefore, the focus for farmers needs to be on ensuring their onions reach the stage of bulb development as once they do, there is a greater chance they will be harvested.

Food wastage is a global issue that is far from being resolved. By the end of 2016, the UK had discarded a total of £13b worth. This is an alarming figure, but it is one that be amended with the help of food suppliers. Suppliers need to ensure that their stock levels of fresh foods such as fruit & vegetables meets the demand of their consumers otherwise they run the risk of either under-stocking or over-stocking resulting in wasted produce. Throughout the supply chain then, efforts can and must be made to help make such a reoccurrence more manageable for all involved.

M&P Engineering has a wealth of experience in designing and manufacturing food processing systems with over 50 years’ service in the industry. M&P Engineering is home to the popular large onion peeling machine which uses a state-of-the-art process that tops, tails and peel onions of 45mm to 115mm diameter using self-adjusting floating knife assemblies. Despite its advanced capabilities, the machinery is easy to operate due to the simplistic mechanism and design.

In addition to the onion peeling machine, M&P Engineering offer a wide range of food processing machinery, including food depositors and rotary transfer units. If you require food filling equipment, M&P Engineering designs and manufactures sachet filling machines to suit your factory requirement. If working on a budget, speak to a member of our M&P Engineering team today to discuss its range of food processing equipment.

If you would to like to found out more information about any of M&P Engineering’s products, call us on +44 (0)161 872 8378 or contact us.


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