One of the UK’s largest chicken and turkey suppliers has invested £4.7m in a new facility in Sandwell.
Work has already started on the site in Wednesbury and Avara Foods expects to be operating from there before Christmas this year. The investment includes a full refurbishment of the site, as well as new food processing machinery and the move brings with it more than 150 jobs to the area.
Avara Foods supplies some of the UK’s most popular supermarkets and restaurants with poultry, including Tesco and Nando’s.
The new facility will produce a range of products, including whole birds, portions, added value, ready to cook, sausages, burgers and meatballs, among other key seasonal categories.
Created in September 2017, Avara grew to become one of the largest British producers of chicken, turkey and duck with a supply chain that is entirely UK-based. It sources its own eggs and grows its own feed.
Avara is committed to reducing food waste in its operations so it ensures that every calorie possible makes it into the human food chain and it is continually looking to improve production processes. Managers across its facilities monitor food waste and loss on a daily basis and look for ways to drive improvements.
As well as looking at its operations, Avara has also looked at ways to change its packaging to better suit consumer needs. Every year tonnes of poultry is wasted, in part because of a rise in single person households, with people only cooking for themselves.
Avara worked with supermarket giant Tesco and the packaging provider Linpac to develop split pack packaging, with the aim of making it easier for consumers to separate chicken fillets without having to break the seal, keeping meat fresher for longer.
In its continued effort to to improve its packaging, Avara also recently brought an industry first to the market – whole bird packaging that doesn’t require the traditional plastic tray as the chicken is held in a strong but flexible bag.
This new whole bird packaging even scooped an innovation award from one of its customers in recognition of the fact that it was a first-to-market solution. Using bags to replace the traditional tray packaging method is a fundamental change in the sector that is already bringing benefits to retailers and consumers alike.
As well as being more efficient to produce, the new packaging means that you can easily cook an Avara chicken without having to touch raw meat while using around 50 per cent less plastic – making the packaging greener too.
Recruitment is underway for Avara Foods in Wednesbury – you can view a full list of its current vacancies on the company’s website.