Morrisons’ ambitions to ramp up its vertically integrated supply operation to the Safeway stores took a step forward with the acquisition of a fruit packhouse this week.
The retailer has bought a 14 acre site in Thrapston, Northamptonshire, from Dutch produce giant The Greenery.
The facility will initially be used to pack a range of produce, including tomatoes, apples, melons and citrus fruits for distribution to Morrisons and Safeway stores in the south of England.
Martyn Fletcher, production director, said: “We are looking at the possibilities of developing the site by adding new warehousing facilities where product packed at the factory, along with that supplied by third parties, would be distributed direct to our stores.”
The move will create 300 new jobs in the local area, he added.
A spokesman for The Greenery said the sale of the site was to provide a more streamlined and efficient business better able to cope with the increasingly competitive UK marketplace.