EOL’s investment programme at its Erith site saw the installation of new bottling lines for cooking oils, as well as an upgraded oil tank farm with transfer capability into the factory. EOL has also expanded its dry goods warehouse and constructed both a new finished product warehouse and a new staff car park.
The project has increased overall production capacity at the site by around 50% and enabled EOL to produce five litre bottles on site for the first time.
Commenting on the investment, managing director Mark Church said: “We’re delighted to have completed this investment programme, which is a major milestone for the business and reflects several years of hard work by our teams and partners, throughout the height of the pandemic.
“The investment has significantly boosted our production capabilities and capacity, and we have been able to lightweight certain bottles, which will eliminate around 90 tonnes of plastic every year.”
EOL is a 50/50 joint venture between Princes and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). It is reportedly the UK’s largest producer of packaged oils for the retail sector, supplying more than 50% of the UK’s customer own brand and branded seed oil volume.
The Erith site bottles the brands of Crisp ‘n’ Dry, Flora and Mazola and also packs rapeseed, sunflower and corn oils for customer own brands.
EOL marked the completion of multiyear investment by inviting Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, Abena Oppong-Asare to officially open the newly renovated bottling facility.
Speaking after her visit, Oppong-Asare said: “It is fantastic to see Edible Oils bring new investment into Erith and Thamesmead with the expansion of the Erith site. It is quite the achievement to have successfully completed this venture during the pandemic.
“As one of the largest employers in the constituency, the expansion demonstrates their commitment to the area and it is great to see more high-quality local jobs and opportunities for residents.”
Meanwhile, Welsh baker Brace’s has invested £4m in new production line, while Greggs has secured planning permission for an expansion of its Newcastle factory.