AMC Group has announced that it has opened a new 55,000 sq ft plant-based and allergen-free production facility in Skelmersdale, Lancashire and are aiming to supply the growing demand for healthier lifestyle choices.
In addition to providing over 100 jobs to the local area, the site is totally free from all of the 14 main allergen groups and produces freshly-squeezed juice and plant-based and free-from products.
The factory aims to provide the growing consumer demand for healthier food options. Indeed, as more consumers make the switch to plant-based diets for a variety of reasons, plant-based and free-from products are in growing demand.
Build on the £11M facility started in February 2018 and production of dairy-free products, baby food and soups started in August. The new state-of-the-art juice facility, which the company claims has the capability to provide the whole of the UK with freshly-squeezed juice, came online in April 2019.
Now fully operational, AMC Group has secured Sainsbury’s as its first customer for freshly-squeezed juice and has just started production of a number of premium lemonades for Waitrose’s Truly Scrumptious summer range.
In addition to providing juice to large retailers and wholesalers, the site is producing dairy-free and allergen-free yoghurt for Rebel Kitchen, and healthy, plant-based soups for brands including Bol.
Mike Bullock, Director of Fresh Foods UK at AMC Group, commented: “There’s an exciting future in store for the site. Plant-based products are in huge demand and there is a gap in the market for a dairy-free factory producing fresh, quality products at scale. Freshly-squeezed juice is in double digit growth in the UK and we can deliver in terms of consistency way better than ever before.”
Sustainability has always been a pillar for AMC Group, in this case it was also an important part of the build as Terry Haigh, Managing Director of the new factory, added: “Everything has been purpose-built so, not only do we have the latest technology for food manufacturing, we also have solar panels to provide a fifth of the site’s energy and we have a ‘zero to landfill’ commitment to environmentally responsible practices. All our waste water is recycled after particles are sieved out and the fruit peels will be used for animal feed or fuel pellets.”
Further modern technology on the site includes the ability to control equipment via mobile phones, for example temperature and CCTV, and the state-of-the-art machinery has unique capabilities to set it apart from other facilities.
The site has been designed with efficient processes in mind, including the innovative design of an access for engineering and maintenance, in that all services have been placed in a maintenance void allowing essential engineering works to be carried out outside of the production environment.
PHOTO: by © Jason Lock Photography