Dalesman invests £750k in extension

The Dalesman Group has invested £750,000 in an extension of its Bradford headquarters, including a new pilot plant and development kitchen.

The seasoning and ingredients supplier says the 3,000sq ft extension, which also includes a presentation room, IT facility, boardroom and meeting rooms, will allow it work more closely with its customers to develop bespoke products. Around 75% of the company’s business comes from its bespoke ingredients lines, but group operations executive Jill Bartlett said there was potential to expand and develop the business. Last year the supplier boosted its technical team to 10, by recruiting two new trainees.

“We had outgrown our existing facility and, instead of just a new product development (NPD) kitchen, we wanted to make it a whole development suite, including the pilot plant’s facilities, so that we can work with processors and butchers to trial products,” she said. “It has been a huge investment in the business and has been our focus for the year.”

The pilot plant has been kitted out with processing equipment to simulate small-scale production operations, which Bartlett said would allow small producers to mock-up a processing line and develop flavours and functions that suited the needs of their business.

“If they want something unique, we will work with them to create that. We can go down to quite low levels of orders and have a technical team to support that all the way through from NPD to QA (quality assurance) specification,” she said.

It will also bring its customers’ bespoke products to market more quickly by slashing the time taken to develop new ideas.

Although the facility will not be officially opened until February/March, the supplier is already inviting its existing and potential customers to tour the facility.

“We want to find out what our customers want, and then work with them to achieve their goals,” Bartlett said.

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