Meat processor Tulip will be investing nearly £500,000 in a project designed to create a centre of excellence for gammon and bacon production in Cornwall.
Ray Hanly, the company’s Cornwall operations director, said it aimed to expand the business’ in-house butchery skills at is Bugle site. It intends to collaborate with Duchy College and Brian Etherington Meat Company to deliver a butchery apprenticeship programme.
Tulip hopes that the project will increase productivity at its Redruth factory, where the sliced gammon range will be produced. Mr Hanly said this will allow the company to maintain a competitive edge in a challenging market.
According to the operations director, the £490,000 pot for the project has been topped up by £147,000 from Cornwall’s Business Catalyst Fund.
The £5 million Business Catalyst Fund is managed by Cornwall Development on behalf of the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Mr Hanly added: “The grant funding provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the direction we took to strengthen our market position and job security in Cornwall moving forward.
“We are also creating new career and training opportunities for our employees because we want to keep good people and give them and the local community a real sense of having a future with us.”
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership board member Andrew Williams said that Tulip is a major local employer and the grant from the Business Catalyst Fund will accelerate the company’s plans to increase productivity and allow it to invest in workforce skills development and new apprentices.
Mr Williams believes the agri-food sector remains a key part of the UK’s economy. He added: “LEP is committed to helping our bedrock industries innovate and prosper.”
Tulip, owned by The Danish Crown group, currently employs 2,000 people at its plants in Bodmin, Bugle and Redruth. The company originally came to the UK in 2002 and is now a leading supplier of high quality pork, bacon and cooked-meat products to major supermarkets.