UK snack manufacturer Kettle Foods is building a new potato intake area on spare land adjacent to the factory, which will increase intake capacity by a third.
The new building will comprise a bulk trailer bay with space for eight articulated potato lorries, new grading machinery to remove soil, stones and small or damaged potatoes, and a new water flume system to transport the tubers to the main factory.
According to Ashley Hicks, Kettle Foods managing director, potato intake is one of the bottle-necks in the site for the company.
“Getting potatoes in from growers was difficult. We have an intake curfew of 7pm which is putting pressure on us so this will allow us to take more in and maintain that curfew,” he said.
Commitment to Norfolk
Kettle Foods - which was started in Norfolk in 1988 - is providing the bulk of the funding, with £1m ($1.3m) coming from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development as a grant.
Hicks noted the investment is the biggest the site had seen since 2011.
“It is a big commitment to Kettle staying in Norfolk and secures the future of the site for as far ahead as we can see,” he said.
Construction will begin this summer and is expected to be completed within 12 months.