FEI Foods is set to create 70 new jobs at their new factory site in South Wales.
The microwavable rice and grain manufacturers have secured funding from Lloyds Bank to go ahead.
New Factory Site
FEI Foods have been experiencing such a rise in demand for their convenience foods that a move had to be on the cards. They are now planning to head to a new 23,226m2 site in Llantrisant Business Park, Rhondda Cynon Taf.
They are also looking to invest in new machinery which will double their capacity, and along with that comes the need for new staff to help run the machines and process their products.
The £19 million in funding from Lloyds will be used to facilitate the move, as well as creating 70 new food jobs in the region. Furthermore, they hope to spend some time researching and developing new products to add to their range.
Lloyd Williams is the finance director at FEI Foods. He said, “Change in consumers’ cooking habits have contributed to a significant boost in sales over the past few years. People now want quick, high-quality foods, and the convenience of our products has been a key contributor to our success. Although the boost in sales has been great for business, it’s meant that we’ve been operating at near full capacity for the past few years. Moving to the new site will provide us with the additional space and capacity we need to continue on our impressive growth journey.”
The loan was broken down into £8 million to secure the new site and refurbish it, with £11 million to hire and purchase new machinery.
With the expansion taking place, FEI are expecting to achieve turnover of £70 million during the next 12 months.
“We’ve been working with Lloyds Bank for the past eight years and they have been an instrumental part of our growth,” said Williams. “This latest financing illustrates their continued commitment to our business.”
Paul Williams, the relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said that the modern premises would be perfectly suited to the business. He said, “Moving to the new premises will be an exciting stage in FEI Foods’ development, providing the company with a modern space that suits its specific needs. Food and drink firms across the UK are thriving, and our recent report into the sector found that companies expect a 21% increase in turnover over the next five years.”
FEI create their own label of microwaveable rice and grains, which are sold in supermarkets across the UK and Europe. Over the past seven years, they have seen a significant rise in sales as more consumers turn to convenience-based foods in smart packaging.
This is not the first time that they have expanded their workforce. In fact, they have been a leading provider of food recruitment in the area, with their initial staff of 60 growing hugely to their current 360 employees. With the 70 new jobs about to be created, they will rise again to 430.
Plenty of UK businesses in the food and drink sector have been seeing growth across the past few years. If this trend is sustained after the Brexit market changes, more companies could be seeing a real meteoric rise like this one managed by FEI Foods. In any case, it seems almost certain that the rice and grains company will not be missing out on the chance of making good on that loan. With such a sure thing in the works, they look set for a very strong 2018.