Rich Products, the global bakery firm, has announced the opening of a new multi-million pound manufacturing site in Andover, Hampshire. This will consolidate their UK production base after a restructuring effort that saw the closure of other sites.
In order to make the change to the new site, Rich Products first had to close their existing facilities. Two of these were in Hampshire – one in Fareham and one in Portchester, making the county the most obvious choice for a replacement. The other was in Hartlebury, Worcestershire.
They have opened their new site dubbing it a ‘bakery centre of excellence’, managing to make these significant changes during a time at which much of the industry is facing cuts. This, they say, shows that they have a lot of ambition and that they believe they can excel in the UK market.
Rich Products underwent a consultation process with their existing staff members last autumn, in order to discover what the best course forward would be and who would benefit or lose out from their changes. They pledged back then to support all of their staff members during the restructuring and transition process – including those who would decide not to continue with their positions at the company.
New automated production lines
The 13-acre factory is no joke, with serious manufacturing capacity inside. There are six automated production lines to run, including a ‘smart’ line which has been dedicated to the manufacture of smaller batches of artisan products. This means that high-quality craft bakery items can still be produced on a larger scale than in operations where much of the work is done manually.
David Hunt is the Managing Director. He has described the new facility as being a step forward for Rich Products, which helps them to retain “the ability to innovate and hand-finish as required”.
He also pointed out the introduction of a customer solutions centre to the site, which he says will allow clients to work directly with the company’s team to find solutions that work for everyone. This is part of his commitment to “put customers at the heart of the manufacturing process”.
New staff recruitment
On top of the financial commitment which was required to build and open the new site, they have also recruited three new members of senior staff – taking executive food roles similar to these. They are John Want, Hazel Tomkins, and John Moore.
Want has almost 20 years of experience in brand marketing, and accordingly has joined the company as their new Marketing Director.
Tomkins is now the Insight and Innovation Director. Her career history includes similar roles at Mars, Schwan’s, and Burger King.
Moore has a CV which includes names like PepsiCo and Bacardi, and he has joined as the Commercial Director.
Hunt said that the new additions were a clear example of the company “bringing the best talent into Rich UK”. He also spoke of his hope that the overall investment would “accelerate business growth out of Andover and beyond”.
It has not been noted that there are any further positions available at the new Rich site, with plenty of existing staff members able to fill the roles when the site opened. However, if you are interested in working in this kind of environment, you will be able to search for similar jobs in our listings here. It’s a good idea to cut your teeth in smaller companies in many cases, building up experience and rising through the ranks until you are able to command a higher position – much like the new senior staff members at Rich.