More jobs to be created at Leek factory as a result of lockdown

ONE of the Staffordshire Moorlands biggest employers has announced plans to create more jobs.

Dairy firm Ornua Foods UK is making a multi-million pound investment at its Leek factory in response to a rise in cheese and butter sales during Covid lockdown.

The company is spending £3 million on the installation of new state-of-the-art cheese cutting and packing equipment at its Sunnyhills Road headquarters, which employs 650 people.

The investment will increase its annual production of branded and own-label cheese to more than 110,000 tonnes.

Ornua has seen sales rise by more than 15 per cent so far this year following a 'change in consumer buying patterns' and a surge in demand during lockdown.

Bill Hunter, Ornua Foods UK's managing director, said: "Our latest £3 million investment at Leek comes at a time when we are experiencing strong business growth and will strengthen our position as a leading supplier of high quality cheese and butter to many of the UK’s major supermarkets.

"We our very proud of our standing as an employer of choice in the region and are committed to providing local people with the opportunity to become part of the Ornua success story through offering a wide range of long term and rewarding career paths."

Ornua Foods UK is the firm behind some big-name dairy brands including Pilgrims Choice cheese and Kerrygold butter.

It is the largest supplier of British and Irish cheese in the UK and counts some of the country's biggest supermarkets among its customers, including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Iceland and Morrisons.

Mr Hunter added: “Ornua Foods UK’s success is based upon our commitment to delivering a comprehensive range of high quality products to our retail customers in the most consistent and efficient manner possible.

“Central to this is our Leek cheese cutting and packing facility, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in Europe and home to Pilgrims Choice, one of the nation’s most popular cheddar brands.”

The company says a number of new jobs will be created as part of the investment.

Details about the current vacancies are available on the Ornua website.

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