Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola, today marked the official opening of its new state-of-the art canning line in Sidcup.
The opening was attended by Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, who met CCEP’s General Manager Stephen Moorhouse and VP for Customer Service and Supply Chain, Javier Gandarias Sanchez, as well as the site’s operations director, Karl Probert and colleagues on the factory floor.
The site celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021 and the new line is capable of producing 2,000 cans per minute, forming a key part of a £28m investment in the factory, further highlighting CCEP’s commitment to investing in the latest manufacturing innovation.
The new line will support the production of sustainable packaging for CCEP’s well-known brands including Coca-Cola original taste, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta, Dr Pepper, Sprite and Schweppes
Colleagues at the Sidcup site are also committed to creating a more diverse workforce as part of CCEP’s ‘Everyone is Welcome’ ethos. This includes encouraging women and others who might not have considered a career in manufacturing previously to do so. To support this, recruitment practices have evolved to focus on skills and aptitude rather than only historical qualifications, and more flexible working options are available to employees to suit a range of lifestyles.
CCEP’s apprenticeship programme has also expanded over recent years, targeting all ages and skill levels to open up pathways for those looking to step into the world of work, or change career direction. Since the programme’s inception, the Sidcup site has supported 21 apprentices across its career builder and early careers offering.
Karl Probert, Operations Director at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Sidcup, said: “Our dedicated workforce of almost 400 play such an important role in continually evolving our manufacturing operations. We’re proud to officially open our new high speed canning line today. It uses the latest manufacturing innovations to produce many of our brands that consumers know and love, from right here in Sidcup.”
Stephen Moorhouse, Vice-President and General Manager, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (GB), commented, “We’ve been at the heart of the Sidcup community for more than 60 years and we’re proud of the team here helping to drive the latest innovations in manufacturing.
“We’ve invested almost £120m into the factory since 2017, helping us to support the local economy and accelerate our path to net zero.”
Louie French MP commented: “It’s been a real pleasure to witness the latest innovation place at CCEP’s site right here in Sidcup. We’re all familiar with Coca-Cola as a global brand, but seeing the progress being made at a local level and meeting the people helping to keep the factory cogs turning has been truly inspiring.
“The latest investment into a new canning line demonstrates CCEP’s commitment to the local community, both in terms of its investment into the site and its ongoing efforts to reduce plastic and use more sustainable packaging. It’s also fantastic to see the efforts the business is making to encourage more diversity in the sector.”
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