Sunderland poultry processor Challenger Foods has changed its name to 2 Sisters Sunderland.

In June last year, the 2 Sisters Food Group acquired Challenger to strengthen its prepared food operations.

2 Sisters chief executive officer Ranjit Singh said: “Last year’s acquisition complemented our current portfolio of food businesses and strengthened our prepared foods division. Our vision is to continue to grow by producing products in line with market demands by a combination of regional acquisitions, strong organic growth and international expansion.

“The repositioning of Challenger Foods within the 2 Sisters Food Group will allow us to continue to deliver best-quality products for the lowest possible cost. The 2 Sisters Sunderland team has some great ideas on a wide range of new and exciting component meat products in the pipeline, and together we look forward to growing this part of our business.”

2 Sisters Sunderland site director Tony Gilroy said: “I can’t think of a better time for us to fully integrate our systems and procedures under one roof. Apart from our name change and some administrative realignment, its very much business as usual.”

Meanwhile, its other recent acquisition, south-west processor Lloyd Maunder, has seen a 330% increase in the numbers of chickens reared under the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme in the first eight months of 2008.

Freedom Food-labelled chicken has increased from 15% of the company’s total production in January to 39% in August. This means the company is now producing 250,000 birds a week under the scheme.