Coca-Cola celebrates Sidcup’s half-centenary

Posted on 27 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

Delegates at the half-centenary celebration in Sidcup heard about the factory’s investment in a new canning line and their improvements in corporate social responsibility.

Along with the unveiling of the new canning line – able to produce 320 330ml cans of drink in the time it takes for Usain Bolt to run 100 metres – Coca-Cola Enterprise (CCE) chairman and chief executive John Brock paid tribute to the “sheer quality” of the workforce at Sidcup. Talking of the strategic importance of the site to supplying the 2012 London Olympics, Mr Brock expressed his delight that CCE had been the “number one supplier to companies in the UK” for eight years running.

Operations director Steve Adams talked to The Manufacturer about the canning line investment that had been made at the Sidcup factory. Part of a new £15m investment, the line has not even been used yet. Journalists were given the opportunity to see the equipment alongside its oldest relative – installed 50 years ago in 1961.

“The line is extremely new; we only finished installing it a few days ago. Its introduction coincides with the half-centenary nicely,” said the production manager giving the tour around the factory.

Mr Adams was eager to stress that CCE’s operation in Sidcup doesn’t make a single decision without first considering the impact on the local environment: “Over the years we have managed to reduce our water losses by 50%.”

“Another achievement we’re really proud of is the fact that in 2000, we sent 650 tonnes of waste to landfill – this year we sent absolutely nothing to landfill,” he added.

Also in attendance was MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup James Brokenshire. Citing the government’s ostensible commitment to the cause of encouraging more young people to undertake vocational careers, Mr Brokenshire praised the factories Education Room, where every year 250 youngsters from schools in the area are invited to come and find out about what a career in manufacturing is like.

George Archer