Greencore sandwich plant taps Hungary for workers

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Greencore makes a range of chilled food-to-go products, including sandwiches
Greencore makes a range of chilled food-to-go products, including sandwiches

Related tags: Recruitment, Northamptonshire

Greencore has defended itself against claims it is drawing mainly on workers from Hungary as part of an expansion of its Northampton sandwich factory entailing at least 250 new jobs.

National radio and print media​ have claimed a new £30M factory on Deer Park Road in Moulton Park, Northampton, would mostly be drawing on workers from Hungary. The company reportedly claimed this was because of low unemployment in the immediate area​.

A spokesman for the firm told FoodManufacture.co.uk it was recruiting for positions at the existing Moulton Park plant as well as the new production zone. He stressed local people were being recruited for both purposes and the company was not relying on Hungary for all its recruitment needs.

For example, the nearby former 2 Sisters Food Group Solway Foods plant in Corby, which had been bleeding workers for some time, had yielded 50 new Northampton recruits, he said.

“Greencore sponsored the Michael Ellis Northampton Jobs Fair in September (Michael Ellis is the local MP) and had a significant presence at the event, which yielded decent interest,”​ he added.

In a statement, the business said: “Greencore currently employs 1,100 colleagues in Northampton and is currently looking to recruit a number of new staff.

‘Recruitment initiatives’

​We have already started a range of recruitment initiatives locally and have been pleased with the response. However, we will also be considering applicants from further afield, including Hungary, and will be conducting interviews with suitable candidates in due course. We are extremely proud of the diversity of our workforce and, as always, will be hiring on a strict equal opportunities basis.”

The Northampton plant is expected to open in spring 2016 and is being built on the site of a shoe factory. Greencore is reportedly advertising for machine setters, porters and quality monitors for the new facility.

The firm announced plans for the food-to-go site in May and said at the time it expected it to deliver hundreds of extra jobs for the region​.

In a statement issued last week Greencore said the new production unit would use the latest technology to ensure it was as environmentally friendly as possible. It would recycle many of the materials from the previous site, the company said.

When built, the new sandwich factory would use about 30% less electricity, gas and water than similar existing facilities, the firm added. It would use natural light in offices and heat recovery systems and would draw in cool air from outside to help chill production areas, it said.

More than £24M

In July, the company announced that it expected to gain more than £24M by completing a series of deals in the current financial year, enabling it to cut its debts​.

Across its first three financial quarters, the firm claimed sales had grown by 7.7% to £946.2M, ahead of the previous year and 8.7% up on a like-for-like basis.

Greencore operates 22 convenience foods manufacturing sites in the UK and US, employing 12,000 people. It provides chilled, frozen and ambient foods to major retail, manufacturing and foodservice customers, including Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

Related topics: Chilled foods

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