Supermarket chain Morrisons has added a meat processing plant to its growing manufacturing portfolio following the purchase of a 105,000 sq ft facility in Cheshire from Vion UK.
The site is a fresh pork and lamb retail packing plant which Morrisons said has the capacity to expand into beef and mince products and increase its existing production. This work was previously carried out at a Morrisons-owned site in Bradford and by third party suppliers.
Morrisons said the acquisition will boost its capacity and give it greater control over the quality of meat products sold in store. The chain is the second largest fresh food manufacturer in the UK, employing more than 7,000 people. Its processing sites in the north west include ones in Colne, Lancashire, and Gadbrook Cheshire, for meat and fruit and vegetables respectively.
The acquisition means that over 300 jobs at the facility in Winsford, Cheshire, will be secured and Morrisons said there is potential for new jobs over the next year as the business grows.
This acquisition is the latest in a number of transactions to strengthen Morrisons’ manufacturing capabilities. Morrisons plans to invest £200m over a three-year period to support the growth of the business.
It bought Derby-based FlowerWorld, a specialist cut flowers business, last year as part of this plan. Martyn Fletcher, Morrisons’ group manufacturing director, said: “Owning the manufacturing sites that produce our fresh food is crucial to Morrisons because it ensures we can control quality and keep down costs for our customers. As Morrisons continues to grow, it is important we have the facilities to support us.”