£500k investment for Malton bacon factory

Gazette & Herald: Malton bacon factory Malton bacon factory

THE new owner of Malton bacon factory has announced it is investing half a million pounds in upgrading processing lines a year after buying the business.

Karro Food Group is spending £500,000 on updating its main processing line at the factory in Norton Grove Industrial Estate.

The investment will be used to improve the hair-removal process in the pig-processing chain.

Initially the move is not set to affect staffing levels at the factory, which currently stand at about 1,600.

However, the improved line will allow quality levels to be maintained if production levels increase, so due to a capacity for more pigs Karro is appealing to local Yorkshire pig farmers.

Bosses at Karro say the investment will create production efficiencies and a reduction in energy use, which will result in the business having a system that is “best in class” in the meat industry.

Di Walker, executive chair at Karro Food Group, said: “We review our processing practices on an ongoing basis and we’re committed to investing in technology and techniques to improve the way that we operate and are able to service our valued customers.

“At Karro, we believe it’s very important to work closely with the farmers on our doorstep in Yorkshire and we hope this further investment into our Malton site shows our commitment to our operation in the region.”

The upgrade comes as part of an ongoing review of manufacturing operations to identify areas of the process that can be improved.

The work will start in January and is due to be completed by the end of March.

Karro Food Group acquired the business in December last year from Dutch former owner VION, which sold its UK food operations to focus on its business in the Netherlands and Germany.

Supplying fresh pork, and cured and cooked meats, to retail, food-service and manufacturing customers, the business last reported annual sales of £540 million.

Based in Malton, Karro employs about 3,000 people across the UK.

It has nine divisions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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