The new business will see the creation of a new division of the business – called the Cranswick Gourmet Pastry Company – and the initial creation of 130 jobs.
Cranswick will supply beef, chicken and pork to Yorkshire Baker to make sausage rolls, pasties, quiches, pies, tarts and en croute products for Marks & Spencer own-label, as well as products under the Yorkshire Baker brand.
Cranswick sales and marketing director Jim Brisby told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The Yorkshire Baker brand is already available on some deli counters but we will be up-scaling production to supply it to the multiples. We will continue to develop business to local delis as well.”
Brisby believes the new venture will profit from the recent horsemeat scandal as the product ranges sit at the premium end of the market and have a short meat supply chain.
Benefit from horsegate
He said: “We’ll benefit from horsegate as you’d hope people will be trading up to premium brands because they recognise the assurances of quality and will trust the more premium brands for their supply chain associates.”
The Cranswick Gourmet Pastry Company will adopt the Yorkshire Baker’s traditional French all-butter pastry production process. By this method, the pastry is rolled, rested and laminated over and over again using ‘store cupboard’ ingredients.
“The value has been squeezed out of pastry by the relentless cost pressure that the retailers have applied over time,” said Brisby.
“Our pastry is not filled full of relaxants. We’re putting the time and the skills back into the products. It takes up to four days to make the product. We’re not changing the Yorkshire Baker methodology – we’re scaling up the production to reach more people but with more quality.
More people per sausage
“Our new products aren’t comparable to anything that anybody else is doing because we’re adding value to the category rather than taking it out. Making these pastries is a unique way of going back to traditional methods.”
Brisby says the “artisan” production process means the site will employ “a lot more people per sausage”. The only machinery on site will be the basic mincers and blenders.
Some of the employees in senior roles are already in place but the company is recruiting to fill the roles of supervisors, quality assurance, senior operatives and production line workers.
The vast majority of the roles will be skilled so on the job training will be provided.
Meanwhile, Cranswick has already started supplying pork to Asda as part of its new £30M contract with the supermarket, announced last month (February 1).
The meat processor bought a former fish auction house in Hull to accommodate the new business.
Brisby said: “The new facility was in place as of Monday [March 4]. The building was in fabulous condition when we bought it and it was already a food facility. Our guys have worked tirelessly to run it around in just two months.”