Job market sunny for food and drink manufacturing

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Despite more red pins indicating places that have been affected by job losses, the blue pins represent more jobs being created.
Despite more red pins indicating places that have been affected by job losses, the blue pins represent more jobs being created.

Related tags: Drink manufacturing sector, Sisters food group, Kingston upon hull

More job gains than losses were announced in the food and drink manufacturing sector in the past six months, FoodManufacture.co.uk can exclusively reveal.

Over 2,600 jobs were announced within the food and drink manufacturing sector in 2013 compared with 1,753 jobs that were either lost or placed in danger of being lost.

Click on the blue pins in the map in this article to find out more about the companies that have either created new jobs or announced intentions to do so in 2013 so far. Food Manufacture's job website, Foodmanjobs​, itself currently carries information on more than 1,100 vacancies in the UK food and drink industry.

The red pins in the map mark the places where food and drink firms have either made job cuts or announced the risk of job losses. Figures are based on FoodManufacture.co.uk articles covering announcements made to date.


View UK job loses and gains 2013 in a larger map

Hull and Yorkshire

A whopping 950 jobs were created in the Hull and Yorkshire region. Meat firm Cranswick created 100–120 jobs after it bought a fish auction site in Hull to meet demand from winning a £30M contract​ to supply fresh pork to Asda in February.

Cranswick created a further 130 jobs​ in Yorkshire when it launched a joint venture with Yorkshire Baker to produce pasties, sausage rolls, quiches, pies and tarts under the Cranswick Gourmet Pastry Company in March.

The remaining 700 jobs​ in Hull will come from an unnamed manufacturer that signed a deal, in March with Hull City Council to combine the production of food with renewable energy in an investment estimated at £30M.

The leader of Hull City Council, councillor Simon Brady told FoodManufacture.co.uk at the time that he was “not prepared to name the food manufacturer”​ and further denied it was Cranswick.

The majority of new jobs created came in the Midlands with Samworth Brothers creating 700 jobs at a new factory in Ashton Green in Leicestershire at the beginning of the year and announcing plans to recruit 50 staff at its Brooksby Foods unit in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

2 Sisters Food Group

2 Sisters Food Group announced in January a new contract to supply salads and sandwiches to Tesco and Costa from its Solway Foods site in Nottinghamshire would create 100 jobs, Müller announced plans to build a new £17M butter plant in Shropshire – creating 100 jobs – and Nestlé started recruiting to fill the 400 jobs created by the £110M expansion of its coffee manufacturing facility in Tutbury, Derbyshire in February.

Elswhere, 200 jobs were created in Tiptree, Essex when jam manufacturer Wilkin & Sons announced plans to build a new £25M factory and Northern Ireland food manufacturer Linden Foods invested £5M to create 179 new production roles at its meat plant in Dungannon.

Significant job losses included almost 300 at Coca-Cola Enterprises sites across the UK, a similar number at Britvic sites in Chelmsford, Huddersfield and Belfast, 420 at a Waitrose distribution centre in Leicestershire and 310 at a former Vion site at Anglesey.

However, in many cases, firms said they were working to mitigate these where possible.

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