Phase one of the new plant, which is situated just outside Barnsley, has just been completed. In fact, the automated form-fill-seal lines and retail packing lines were installed just last month.
"I can't think of a customer or government agency that has not been involved in this site at some point," said Fresh-Pak divisional director Simon Scrivens. "We're very proud of our factory as it is ahead of where everybody else is."
The capacity of the new facility, which took a year to design and build, is certainly staggering. Over 4 million eggs are processed each week, and the company has plans to expand production. Phase two, which will involve a further 15,000 sq ft fit out, is planned to be operational by the end of this year.
"The sandwich market is still growing at 10 per cent a year," points out Scrivens. "This is why this factory is here - our aim is to meet this demand. Egg mayonnaise remains the nation's favourite filling, and most egg mayonnaise in the UK comes from this factory - over 200 tonnes a week of the stuff in fact."
An interesting aspect of the business is the fact that Fresh-Pak is the only significant egg processor not vertically integrated. "We don't own the hens," said Scrivens. "Most of those involved in this industry are egg producers, but we're not."
Instead, the business buys its eggs across the EU, in markets where both quality and price are most attractive. According to Scrivens, 80 per cent of eggs processed are intensively-farmed, while about 20 per cent are free range.
"This is an aspect of the business that is growing," said Scrivens. "Five years ago, about 5 per cent of our eggs would have been free range. This shows we are fully consumer-driven."
In his interview with FoodProductionDaily.com, which will be published later this week, Scrivens also touched on the major issues facing food manufacturers, and described how the new plant was designed to exceed stringent health and safety regulations. Tomorrow we report from the site, from where we were given full access.
Fresh-Pak Chilled Foods is a subsidiary of Perkins Foods, a manufacturer of brand convenience chilled and frozen foods across Europe. The division has two other sites in the UK, at Loughborough and Scunthorpe.