The 2 Sisters Food Group is ramping up poultrymeat production capacity, following increased new business for the firm, mainly in the form of a multi-million pound contract to supply chicken to Sainsbury’s.
It is understood 2 Sisters is extending an existing factory in Newport, South Wales, and altering the layout of two poultry processing plants in Norfolk and Devon.
The firm also saw industrial action in the run-up to Christmas as it announced a move to five-in-seven day shift patterns, keeping factories in operation over the weekend to increase capacity.
A 2 Sisters spokesman said the expansion was down to winning additional incremental business. “That drove the fact that we needed to grow the factories.”
It follows an announcement last year that Sainsbury’s was consolidating its supply of poultrymeat. In March 2012 it announced that it would drop Vion as a supplier from February 2013, though it is understood this has been extended by one month as Vion looks to sell its poultry division.
It said at the time it would instead source its chicken from 2 Sisters and Moy Park as part of its “2020 Strategy” – a move to sell more British food by 2020.
Although 2 Sisters had announced that its expansion could create up to 500 new jobs in 2013, it said that negotiations with Unite over pay and working time disputes were ongoing, and no recruitment drive had yet been announced.