The restructure will see Rich Products’ current production sites in Fareham, Portchester and Hartlebury close, and transfer to the new purpose-built site in Andover, along with all business support functions. The business has completed a consultation process with staff and has pledged to continue to support all staff members over the course of the restructuring process and transition.
Set to open by the end of the year, the new 15-acre facility features a larger production hall that will increase capacity for business growth, create new opportunities for employment, and will “put customers at the heart of the manufacturing process”. The multi-million pound investment is part of Rich Products’ expansion and technological growth plans.
The current production sites will continue to run alongside the Andover facility, with the full transition planned for 2019.
Managing director David Hunt explained the investment "The food manufacturing world is constantly evolving and undergoing rapid change,” he said. “This requires us to adapt and innovate, and the new Andover site will mean state-of-the-art technology, exceptional working conditions, and will enable us to continue to improve upon our already first-class customer service and range of sweet bakery products.
“This is an ambitious project that represents our long-term future commitment to the UK. With plans for the next five, 10 and 20 years, the new facility will increase production and business efficiency as we enter a new phase of growth.”
UK and Europe commercial director Paul Edwards added: “In the fast-paced industry we operate in, technological innovation is vital, and the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will use the very latest automation technologies for dough-making, mixing, depositing, and baking – sourced from the finest suppliers across the world – to ensure we have an unbeatable production facility.
“Coupled with automated finishing and packing, this will make us relevant to the market from a quality and commercial perspective, whilst maintaining the flexibility to innovate with new products and formats, enabling us to respond quickly to trends and deliver bespoke solutions to our customers.
“The new facility will also feature a dedicated artisan bakery, where smaller batches of artisan lines will be produced, and a new Customer Solutions Centre that will put customers at the heart of our business, enabling them to be part of the manufacturing process, from market insights right through to product development.”