Morrisons takes full FBD stake with Cranswick buyout

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons is aiming to become the UK's largest fresh food manufacturer by 2015
Morrisons is aiming to become the UK's largest fresh food manufacturer by 2015

Related tags: Meat, Meat processing

Morrisons has acquired full ownership of its Farmers Boy Deeside (FBD) fresh meat facility from former partner Cranswick as the retailer steps up its plan to become the UK’s largest fresh food manufacturer by 2015.

The firm has acquired pork specialist Cranswick’s 49% stake in the FBD site ahead of a total revamp of its cooked meat range over the coming months.

Martyn Fletcher, group manufacturing director, said: “We have worked closely with Cranswick over the past 18 months to grow this site in Deeside. We would like to thank them for their fantastic support in developing a state of the art facility​.”

His comments were echoed by Cranswick chairman, Martin Davey, who said: “We wish Morrisons every success with FBD and would like to thank all members of staff on Deeside for their loyal service to Cranswick over the years​.”

Joint acquisition

The takeover comes after the joint acquisition of the site in July 2010. Following the move, FBD has invested around £30M at the site to expand its capacity and capability.

The 16,258m2 ​factory, which has been significantly developed and now employs 600 people, currently produces more than 1.5M packs of sliced ham and poultry products each week. 

Close work between the two parties has seen the site in north Wales double in size. This has enabled Morrisons to significantly increase its manufacturing capabilities for products previously produced by third-parties, the firm revealed.

Greater control

Unlike its retail rivals, Morrisons currently owns a number of bakeries, meat processing facilities and produce packing factories, in a bid to give it greater control over the quality, cost and supply of fresh food into its stores.

Last month the firm acquired a new seafood processing business in Grimsby, which will create 200 jobs and make it the only major food retailer to source fish from the quayside and process it for sale across the UK, it claimed.

This was also preceded by the takeover of the meat processing firm Vion’s meat packing facility in Winsford.

Speaking last month, Morrisons chief executive, Dalton Philips said: “If market conditions continue, we will become the UK’s largest manufacturer of fresh food by 2015. This investment sets us apart from other retailers and means that we will be the biggest customer for UK farms​.

This will continue to build on our record of serving the freshest and best food that our farmers have to offer with minimal waste in the supply chain​.”

Related topics: Fresh produce

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