2 Sisters invests in oriental meal development

2 Sisters Food Group’s staff are celebrating a £10m investment in the development of prepared oriental meals at its Rogerstone factory, as it predicts year-on-year turnover there will grow by 20% this year.

"The investment will not create any additional jobs but will ensure the site is fit for the future," 2 Sisters spokesman and customer agriculture category manager Peter King told Meat Trades Journal. "It will also enable the site to maintain its recent momentum, with turnover projected to be up almost 20% on the previous year."

In a media statement, the company said the cash had been used to create a dedicated oriental foods ‘pod’ – an extension which was designed to be completed ahead of the Chinese New Year.

The unit would act as the foundation for sustained growth and momentum for the business’ Meal Solutions division, it said, enabling it “to push the boundaries of what was possible within prepared meals”.

King told MTJ the facility’s new features include an automated coating line, frying technology, two packing lines and the latest cooling technology, cutting its environmental footprint. The cooling technology is designed to cool food quickly and more efficiently than previous systems, improving product quality.

The company said the additions would help Rogerstone, which mainly serves Marks & Spencer (M&S), “to supply a greater variety of meal options with improved consistency and better eating quality by optimising the production process at critical points”.

In addition to the Rogerstone investment, 2 Sisters confirmed it was rolling out a lean manufacturing programme across its eight Meal Solutions sites.

“The significant investment in Rogerstone will lay the foundations for the future and acknowledges the loyalty and capability of our colleagues in South Wales,” said Meal Solutions managing director Simon Wookey. “We are investing millions in our factories and embedding a cross-functional lean culture to deliver a gold standard performance.”

Site general manager Lisa Hancock said: “We have always been very proud and passionate of what we do here at Rogerstone. Colleagues are now thinking differently following the investment, constantly looking at how we can improve the quality and consistency of our products for the benefit of our customers.”

An M&S spokesperson added: “Working with our suppliers to invest in our supply chain as we grow our food business is an important part of our strategy. The new Oriental hub at Rogerstone Park is an important step forward for the site and one that will help deliver innovative and exciting meals for our customers.”
 
Rogerstone Park was built in 1999 on a former power station site. The facility was acquired by 2 Sisters Food Group in late 2012 and became part of its Meal Solutions division the following year. In addition to the latest capabilities to produce far eastern cuisine, the factory manufactures Indian and British main and side dishes.

The facility is the biggest single-site prepared meals factory in Europe and employs around 1,500 people.

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