Food giant Danish Crown has revealed a major job-creating investment in a new processing facility.
The factory in Rochdale will offer UK customers pork products produced in a more sustainable way and provide a critical supply of bacon for the UK market.
Danish Crown will invest more than £100m in the 328,000 sq ft processing facility. It will use highly automated production equipment and the latest processing technology to slice and pack bacon and gammon produced to UK welfare and food safety standards.
The facility is due to begin production in the second half of 2023 and will create about 300 specialised jobs once it is fully operational, producing more than 900 tonnes of bacon and gammon a week.
The site will be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy and built to environmental standards, supporting Danish Crown's wider ambition to achieve climate neutral meat production by 2050.
Heat recovery from the plant's utility systems will supplement conventional heating sources to heat the office space and provide hot water, while ammonia will be used as a refrigerant to minimise environmental impact. Food waste will be reduced through the use of bacon offcuts in other products such as sausages, while a circular packaging system for deliveries of pork to the site will minimise packaging waste.
To support sustainability and transparency, Danish Crown will be able to provide customers with the carbon footprint of their products from farm to fork.
Jais Valeur, chief executive at Danish Crown, said:
"Danish Crown has a long heritage in the UK, bringing British consumers high quality bacon and pork products for over 135 years. This investment forms the next step in our commitment to the UK market, bringing our customers a reliable, transparent supply of high-quality bacon to help meet demand, produced to high sustainability and welfare standards.
"The future of meat will be based on high quality products that are as sustainable as possible. We know this is an ambition shared by many of our customers in the UK and with this new factory, we look forward to working more closely with them towards a more sustainable future for food production."
David Hilton, Business Development Director at MIDAS, Manchester's Inward Investment Agency, added:
The MIDAS team, in partnership with colleagues at the Rochdale Development Agency and the Department for International Trade are looking forward to continuing work with Danish Crown on recruitment, training and innovation at the new facility in Rochdale.
This significant investment will not only provide a further boost to the local community through the creation of jobs, it also shows commitment to two of our key growth areas – automation and net zero.
The new investment will create Danish Crown's first production facility in the UK in three years, following the sale of its Tulip subsidiary to Pilgrim's in 2019.