The site will open next month, initially creating 70 full-time jobs, before the first mushrooms are harvested later in the month. Hughes said an additional 30 workers would be recruited by the end of 2017.
The Northern Ireland-based business will open the facility – near Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire – after an increased demand for home-grown mushrooms, it said.
‘Unrivalled in Europe’
Hughes Mushrooms business development director Emmet Hughes, said: “We believe the scale and ambition of our investment is unprecedented in the UK mushroom industry and the world-class facility we’re creating in East Yorkshire is unrivalled in Europe.
“Many current and potential customers are already prioritising suppliers who are UK-based and prepared to invest in the future, and industry commentators have been saying for some time that the volume of British produce needs to be increased.”
- Emmet Hughes
“As a business, this has been part of our growth strategy for several years, but it is particularly timely as the UK prepares to leave the EU. Many current and potential customers are already prioritising suppliers who are UK-based and prepared to invest in the future, and industry commentators have been saying for some time that the volume of British produce needs to be increased.”
The new facility was designed to be the most energy-efficient mushroom production site in the UK, Hughes claimed. It will be equipped with technology designed to improve quality while reducing waste, road-miles and emissions.
It will also require less space than traditional mushroom production facilities, which use polytunnels – a polythene-covered greenhouse.
The firm’s business development director added: “This state-of-the-art, efficient and environmentally-friendly mushroom production operation has been developed after extensive research with some of the world’s most successful producers to meet the demands and challenges of the modern industry.”
The new facility will run alongside its operations in Northern Ireland.
Hughes, which owns the mushrooms brands Gathered and Filled Full Of, currently supplies retailers with 230t of mushrooms a week, from 20 independent growers.
Hughes’s new production site – at a glance
- New site near Howden, East Riding of Yorkshire
- Up to 100 jobs to be created
- Investment to cater for home-grown produce demand