Meat firm Cranswick has bought a former fish auction house in Hull – creating 100–120 new jobs – after winning a £30M contract from Asda to supply fresh pork.
Cranswick won the contract from Vion, which announced plans last November to sell all its UK business.
An Asda spokeswoman, said: “We have moved the majority of our pork business into Cranswick which will operate from a facility in Hull.”
Chris Aldersley, md of Fresh Pork at Cranswick, said: “This is a significant contract win for Cranswick and necessitated an expansion to accommodate the new business.”
Multi-million pound investment
Cranswick has made a multi-million pound investment into the site, with new slicing, dicing and vacuum packing technology being fitted into the 5,000m2 facility.
The firm said the building – previously occupied by Fishgate Hull Fish Auction from 2000–2011 – was an ideal facility to convert to retail packing due to having originally being built to a very high standard food processing facility.
“Now the sale is complete we are moving in to convert the building into retail slicing, dicing and packing lines,” said Aldersley. “We will be heavily investing into new state-of-the-art machinery and this will be installed over the next six-weeks.”
Aldersley is in charge of the new facility, which will be renamed Cranswick Riverside. He will be relocating 10 staff from the firm’s Preston site to manage the factory.
Recruitment for the retail packing jobs has begun and the firm expects the new facility to be fully operational by March.
“These new jobs are open to everyone, and with a difficult jobs market we believe this will give a real boost to the area,” said Aldersley. “We are proud to be investing into the city’s economy and to be in the position of opening up more than 100 new vacancies to the local community.”
Cranswick is one of the largest employers in the region with 5,000 employees spread across the business, of which about 2,500 are in Hull.
Cranswick sources 70% of its pigs from within a 50-mile radius of its head office in Preston.
Meanwhile, the firm offset rising pig prices to deliver “impressive growth” in the three months to December 31, according to City analysts. The firm’s extension of its Sutton Fields cooked meat facility in Hull – completed ahead of the Christmas trading period to meet strong demand – is said to have contributed to its growth.