Danish Crown, the global food company, has today announced a major investment in a new processing facility in Rochdale that will create hundreds of jobs and to bring UK retailers and Foodservice operators high quality, traceable products that are being produced in a more sustainable way and to UK welfare standards.

Danish Crown will invest more than £100 million in the new 30,500 sq. m processing facility at the Kingsway Business Park, Rochdale. The factory will use highly automated production equipment and the latest processing technology to slice and pack bacon and gammon produced to UK welfare and food safety standards. The facility is due to open in the second half of 2023 and will create around 300 specialised jobs once it is fully operational, producing up to 920 tonnes of bacon and gammon a week.

The new site will be 100% powered by renewable energy and built to market-leading environmental standards, supporting Danish Crown’s wider ambition to deliver climate neutral meat production by 2050. Heat recovery from the plant’s utility systems will supplement conventional heating sources to heat the office space and provide hot water, whilst ammonia will be used as a refrigerant to minimise environmental impact. Food waste will be reduced through the use of bacon offcuts in other products such as sausages, whilst a circular packaging system for deliveries of pork to the site will minimise packaging waste. To support sustainability and transparency, Danish Crown will be able to provide customers with the carbon footprint of their products from farm to fork.

Danish Crown is also prioritising a positive work environment for future employees, with electric car charging points available on site and the opportunity to buy a bicycle tax-free through the ‘Cycle To Work’ scheme. Health and nutrition will also be a key focus, with new state-of-the-art canteen facilities and a fitness and wellness space planned for the site.

Jais Valeur, CEO, Danish Crown said: “Danish Crown has a long heritage in the UK, bringing British consumers high quality bacon and pork products for over 135 years. This investment forms the next step in our commitment to the UK market.

“Our ambition is for a more sustainable future of meat production and sustainability has been central to every decision we have made on this new facility, whether that’s powering the site with 100% renewable energy, processing bacon reared to high sustainability and welfare standards, or putting employee health and wellbeing at the heart of the design.”

Danish Crown has been exporting to the UK since 1887 and today, the country remains one of the company’s most important export markets. The new investment will create Danish Crown’s first production facility in the UK in three years, following the sale of its Tulip subsidiary to Pilgrim’s in 2019.