“Princes has been on a big transformational journey in the last few years,” says Mackintosh. “£160m just in those three sites.”
Factory manager Rob James presided over Princes’ £80m Canning Excellence project, which began in early 2017 at the company’s Long Sutton production facilities.
“It’s come in two clear phases,” says Mackintosh. “The first phase deals with our new pea plant and also a lot of investment in terms of our canteen, offices and welfare facilities.
“The second phase of that dealt with large raw material new warehousing with coldstore and investment in our ingredients processing equipment, a very large hydrostat that required the second largest mobile crane in the UK for its installation, water plant, utility upgrades and a new canned ready meal line.”
At Princes’ juice production facilities at Cardiff, £60m has been invested, Mackintosh continues. “That’s our single biggest investment in our drinks site and we have installed seven new production lines and two refurbishments of existing lines.” The Cardiff investment included ‘significant investment in our warehousing, inbound and outbound and significant investment in new ingredients processing equipment that takes us into new capabilities’.
At Erith, a £24m investment has been made at the seed oil site that is a 50/50 joint venture between Princes and Archer Daniels Midland. That project has nearly doubled capacity there, Mackintosh says and has involved a new production line capable of producing 5 litre bottles of cooking oil. The tank farm there has been upgraded, inbound and outbound capacity has increased and the finished goods warehouse there has doubled in size.
Erith complete in November
“In terms of those three projects, Long Sutton is fully completed. We are finishing the optimisation at our Cardiff site and our Erith site is largely complete, with a final phase that completes in November this year.”
However, that has not drawn a line under Princes’ major investments, with Mackintosh speaking from its finished innovation kitchen. Cameron described this as ‘a big investment at our head office, bringing our colleagues, suppliers and customers together’.
Keep listening to this videocast as Mackintosh goes on to describe the journey Princes has been on to minimise the environmental impact of production.