Kara Doughballs

Finsbury Food Group has invested £1m in a new production plant in the Manchester site of its Kara foodservice division.

The virtual shutdown of the foodservice market during the coronavirus lockdown gave the business the chance to complete the installation, which is set to increase capacity by 30% while reducing downtime and product wastage.

This investment includes a new freezer, feeding system, product conveyors, check weigher, metal detector and hand-packing station. Improvements have also been made to the building including replacing the floor area and installing energy-efficient LED lighting.

“With much of Kara’s customer base closing during the lockdown the past few months have been a challenging period both for Kara and the Finsbury Food Group,” said Finsbury business unit director Jon Cooper.

In a trading update last month, Finsbury explained that lockdown meant demand in the foodservice and food-to-go sectors, which together accounted for about 20% of the group’s revenue, fell to almost nothing overnight.

“It did, however, provide us with the perfect time to completely install and commission the new plant. This new installation protects and significantly increases our manufacturing capacity and importantly brings about less manual handling. We have already seen improved product quality and consistency.”