Britain’s number two retailer Asda is on course to be sourcing all its own-label fresh red meat from just three factories by the summer.
Grampian Country Food Group’s new Asda-dedicated processing facility at Winsford in Cheshire was unveiled last week after 18 months in the making.
It marked another step towards a tightly focused three-pronged central packing set-up system for the retailer.
The £25m pork and lamb packing factory has begun operations and is currently producing 250,000 retail packs a week on seven lines, each of which cost £750,000 to install.
An eighth line is set for commissioning shortly with a new building dedicated to
added-value products to open in the spring.
When fully up and running in the summer, the factory will be producing 500,000 packs of meat products a week with a retail value of £1.5m. The Grampian plant will serve eight Asda depots up and down the country. It is located on the site of a former Harris bacon factory, which has been refurbished with additional buildings constructed to create a facility covering 10,000 sq m and providing 400 new jobs.
Dawn Meats’ beef and pork factory in Wales and ABP’s beef and mince plant in Doncaster are the other two facilities that have been built specifically to serve Asda’s red meat needs.
Opening the Winsford plant, Asda trading and marketing director Angela Spindler said: “This gives us the confidence we need to be really certain of the future growth of our meat business. We are moving to centrally packed meat because it will better meet our customers’ requirements for quality, availability and flexibility.
“This site is a very important platform for this because it allows us to offer these things in every single Asda store all over the country.”
Richard Clarke