The factory extension was officially opened on October 13, and created more than 20 new jobs. The facility included two new batch peeling lines that can peel potatoes of all shapes and sizes – even those that appear visually unappealing.
Wonky potatoes – which are still completely edible – are peeled, and sent to Tesco’s ready meal manufacturer Samworth Brothers to make mashed potatoes.
3,500t of potatoes
The Branston factory could now produce around 3,500t of potatoes a week for Tesco. The expansion made the site one of the largest peeling and processing plants in the UK.
Branston md James Truscott said: “Our relationship with Tesco is hugely important to the business and its commitment to reducing waste is a shared goal. This exciting new development enables us to play our part, whilst improving quality and freshness for customers.
“Working in partnership adds value to all three businesses. We have to continually modernise and adapt to the evolving industry in order to have a sustainable business.”
Tesco commercial director for fresh food Matt Simister said the retailer’s history of working with Branston helped to give potato growers the confidence they needed to invest and innovate in the future.
Simister said: “We believe that no food which could be eaten should go to waste, so we’re constantly looking for new ways to reduce food waste across our supply chain.
“This new partnership between Branston and Samworth Brothers, and the new facility, means that in addition to our Farm Brands and Perfectly Imperfect ranges, we will be able to use up to 95% of our growers’ crops, and save edible produce from being wasted.”
Meanwhile, Tesco teamed up with food packaging manufacturer Linpac and chicken processor Cargill to make a new split pack for poultry sales. The new perforated tray designed for two chicken breasts meant that one half can stay frozen if the consumer only wanted to eat one chicken breast.
Branston potato factory extension – at a glance
- £5M expansion of Lincolnshire factory
- Wonky potatoes to be peeled and sent to Samworth Brothers for mashing
- Factory produces 3,500t of potatoes a week