2 Sisters Poultry Output in Scunthorpe to Rise Markedly

The 2 Sisters Food Group announced on August 30 that it is investing £45 million to create “the world’s most advanced poultry processing plant” at the company’s long established facility in Scunthorpe, England. The modernization project will introduce new robotic cells to enhance a fully automated process that will increase capacity at the site by one-third to 2.4 million birds per week.

The investment is being made to “future-proof” the operation, securing over 1,600 jobs in Scunthorpe, as well as “improve animal welfare, quality and presentation of the finished product.” This comes on top of a £10 million program to reduce campylobacter bacteria levels in poultry, which has been praised by the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency and received the approval of major clients.

2 sisters poultryAccording to a statement issued by the company: “The investment is a clear demonstration of our commitment to Scunthorpe. We are in the midst of a £150 million program to revolutionize how poultry is processed in the UK for the benefit of our customers and consumers in general.”

Dan Whillock, 2 Sisters Scunthorpe general manager, added: “The whole team is delighted that our site has been selected for such a major investment. It has been a huge boost to the workforce and is just reward for the hard work and dedication of our people over the last 28 years. The project has taken many months of planning and our goal has always been to build a truly world class facility, using the very latest technology to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare, bio security and product quality for our customers.”

When the Scunthorpe plant opened in 1988 it was biggest operation of its kind in Europe, featuring over 800,000 square feet of space in which 900,000 birds were processed per week on three lines for distribution to fresh, frozen and value added channels. Feed mills, hatcheries and farms were constructed at the same time as the factory to ensure that an extensive local agricultural base was close to the plant to keep animal transportation to a minimum and to optimize bio-security.

At the moment the site processes 1.8 million birds per week on two lines for a number of major retailers. Its added value department produces up to 400,000 ready-to-cook packs per week in oven ready foil trays. The total added value range consists of over 50 products.

About the Group

Boparan Holdings owns the privately held Birmingham, England-headquartered 2 Sisters Food Group, which generated sales of £3.14 billion in 2015. Its Protein Division is the anchor of the business, producing around a third of all poultry products consumed in Britain, as well as red meat offerings and poultry items sold in continental Europe.

The company’s diversified frozen food product line ranges from Green Isle vegetables, potatoes and bread to Holland’s pasties, sausage rolls and pies, Goodfella's pizza and Donegal Catch fish. Customers include Aldi, Asda, Co-op, KFC, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrison's, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

Operating at 48 manufacturing sites in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland, the Group employs approximately 23,000 people. The jobs of part of its 1,150 workforce at a chilled pizza plant in Nottingham may be in jeopardy early next year, however, when a major private label manufacturing account is scheduled to expire.