Reportedly the largest food manufacturing facility in Europe, the investment into the factory would be the largest by the manufacturer in more than two decades and is subject to approvals from the US head office later in the year.
The money would be spent on further modernising the manufacturing capabilities of the site over the next four years, focused around three key pillars – bringing Heinz sauce manufacturing back to the UK to build additional European capacity, further upgrading machinery and driving the plant to deliver its environmental, social and corporate governance commitments.
Kitt Green currently produces 1.3bn cans of food per year, of which 94% is consumed in the UK. Kraft Heinz brands including Heinz Beanz, Soups and Pasta will continue to be produced at the Kitt Green site for the UK market.
Adopt contemporary techniques
Luis Spinardi, Site Director at Kitt Green said theproposed investment would allow the site to adopt more contemporary ways of working while maintaining high global standards for food manufacturing.
“Not only are we excited to be expanding our product mix by bringing sauces back to the UK but also look forward to a more efficient facility with a sustainable future,” he added. “Consumers remain at the centre of everything we do, and this was particularly evident during the pandemic – I would like to thank all our teams for their relentless dedication, commitment and resilience throughout the year helping to feed the nation.
“We are proud to continue our journey as a motivated team to reach our common goal of establishing Kitt Green as a world class manufacturer, delivering exceptional performance in everything we do.”
New machinery at the site would also allow Heinz to minimise the use of non-renewable sources, producing items that are fully recyclable and ultimately helping to considerably reduce the site’s CO2 footprint. To enable employees to operate this machinery, Kitt Green will be providing upskilling opportunities whilst envisaging the creation of up to 50 new full-time positions.
Commenting on the proposals, Joe Clarke, Unite national officer for food, drink and Agriculture, said: “Brexit and near the end of a global pandemic, this is tremendous news for the hard-working members at Kraft Heinz and reflects the exceptional cooperative working that has been built upon over many years – especially over the past 12 months Here’s just rewards for everybody’s hard work and effort.”
Meanwhile, Sausage maker Heck has doubled capacity and created 20 new jobs as part of a £3.5m expansion of its Kirklington, North Yorkshire factory.