The new jobs will be spread across a range of packaging, processing and handling roles, said Napier Brown sugar sourcing director, Peter Hough. They will be created over the coming year as part of a new growth plan for the firm.
Hough told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Market research conducted by Napier Brown suggested it was a good time for brand expansion.” The firm had “… created a range of sugars for baking under its Whitworth brand earlier this year, which are just going into shops this month”, he added.
Investment in people
Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, welcomed the plan for new jobs. “It’s great to see a local business continuing to innovate and find ways to expand,” she said.
“When the overall economy is shrinking, and many jobs are under pressure, we need strong local businesses to keep our area going and it's great to see investment in people by businesses such as Napier Brown.”
The Normanton facility employed about 150 people across all areas, including production and administration. The site packs around 100,000t of imported sugar into a range of different sizes and formats from 25kg bags to sugar sticks, said Hough.
These are supplied to around 1,000 food manufacturers, businesses in the foodservice sector and retailers such as cash and carries under the brands Napier Brown and Whitworth.
“The total increase in production at the site will depend on sourcing, but we are looking at a significant boost to the business,” added Hough.
New distribution centre
The firm is also investing in a new distribution centre in Hull, which is currently in the final stages of planning. The distribution centre will include a new system for handling and distributing bulk sugar, said Hough.
The new system will make it easier for Napier Brown to transfer sugar from holding containers to the tankers that are used to deliver large loads to food manufacturers.
“Napier Brown is providing an alternative source of sugar for the UK. It is looking to invest in order to increaseits market presence,” said Hough.
Further jobs will be created at the site but how many is unclear, he said.
Napier Brown is a subsidiary of the Real Good Food Company. It claims to be the largest packer and distributor of sugar in Europe that is run independently of sugar refiners and producers.