Morrisons plans to become the UK’s biggest fresh foods manufacturer by 2015, overtaking meat giant Vion.

The retailer will complete a £200m investment programme for its manufacturing food arm by 2013, chief executive Dalton Philips told the Morrisons Farming Conference this morning. Morrisons will also invest £21m to increase capacity at its abattoir in Colne, Lancashire.

As a result of the investment, 6,000 extra pigs a week will be processed in Colne, increasing capacity at the site to 31,000 pigs a week.

The company will also invest in fruit, veg and salad packing, Philips added.

“If market conditions continue, we will become the UK’s largest manufacturer of fresh food by 2015,” Philips said. “This investment sets us apart from other retailers and means we will be the biggest customer for UK farms.”

According to the supermarket, Vion UK is the UK’s largest fresh food manufacturer at the moment, followed by Morrisons itself.