Andrew Griffith MP has rounded off a key month in his political career with a visit to Baker & Baker’s Ashington plant.
The Conservative MP for the Arundel and South Downs constituency was appointed head of prime minister Boris Johnson’s policy unit within 10 Downing Street at the start of February following the resignation of previous incumbent Munira Mirza.
Griffith was given a full factory tour, by Baker & Baker’s plant manager Matt Ball, who highlighted the business’s range of gluten-free bakery products made in Ashington, West Sussex for UK retailers.
Baker & Baker said the plant’s constituency MP was keen to learn more about the company’s position within the sector, its product portfolio and recruitment strategy within the local area, as well as its investment and sustainability initiatives.
According to Baker & Baker, the MP’s visit coincided with a key period for the company as it is currently “striving to create further opportunities for young people who are interested in a vocational qualification and a career in the food industry, in collaboration with other local partners”.
Griffith expressed his admiration for the company’s efforts following the visit. “It was great to see the wide-ranging operation at Baker & Baker employing hundreds of local people,” he said. “I was glad to hear about the leading efforts being made by the company to support young people in obtaining vocational qualifications, paving the way for wider access to high-skilled employment.”
According to plant manager Ball, Baker & Baker is keen to develop long-term relationships with “key partners” such as Griffith. Such collaboration can “promote the career opportunities available for young people and the importance of food manufacturing to the UK economy”, he said.
“It was great to welcome Andrew to our Ashington site and discuss the challenges and opportunities we currently face as a food manufacturer and a large employer locally,” Ball added.
In addition to its Ashington factory that employs 210 people, the Baker & Baker operates three other manufacturing sites across the UK, employing 1,400 people in total. The company launched as a standalone business in 2021 following its formal separation from CSM Bakery Solutions.