Corkers completes factory expansion

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Potato

Crisp brand Corkers has finished the expansion of its factory in Ely, Cambridgeshire and is now able to produce an extra 120,000 bags of crisps a day.

In this exclusive podcast, Corkers’ md Rod Garnham told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the decision to expand had helped the company to become more commercially competitive to tender to larger business and employ more local people.

“We looked at the funding aspects of it over the costs and the risks and it was quite an easy decision to make,” ​he said. “We’ve now employed an extra 30 people since this expansion, all local people from this area.”

‘Biggest headaches’

Listen to this podcast to find out what benefits Garnham said the expansion would bring and what the “biggest headaches”​ were during the development.

Garnham, who did not reveal the amount of cash spent, said he had decided to fund a bigger production facility instead of compromising product quality, by pursuing contract manufacturing, after experiencing increased demand.

Corkers secured licences with the National Trust, British Airways, clothing retailer Jack Wills, Stena Ferries and Waitrose over the last two years.

Garnham founded Corkers in 2011 with childhood friend Ross Taylor with a plan to produce a 100% British crisp brand.

Corkers only uses potatoes grown in the field opposite the factory, claiming that it can turn a Naturalo potato into a crisp in under an hour and guarantee British provenance.

Garnham added that there was still plenty of space to grow into at the Ely site if the business demanded further expansion.

‘World’s biggest packet of crisps’

Meanwhile, on September 13, ​Corkers will launch the world’s biggest packet of crisps, in a bid to raise money for terminally ill children.

The bag of crisps will be 760cm x 380cm and hold a tonne of crisps, which Corkers claimed was double the current Guinness world record.

All money raised, from the subsequent fun day on September 14, will go to the Liam Fairhurst Foundation – a charity that supports not just the child affected by cancer, but the whole family.

“We are always looking for a challenge and with this one we’ve got a great incentive; we’re raising money for the Liam Fairhurst Foundation – a fantastic local charity for children suffering from terminal cancer,”​ added Garnham.

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