Calbee UK, the manufacturer of innovative savoury snacks with a market leading facility in Deeside, North Wales, has welcomed Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, to the business to share the company’s experience of working in the region, as well as its strategic ambitions for the next five years.
Taking the opportunity to showcase the world-class facility, which was completely refurbished with an investment of more than £6.5m, Managing Director, Richard Robinson, reinforced the commitment that Calbee UK, a subsidiary of Calbee Inc, the £1.2bn Japanese savoury snack supplier, has made to North Wales.
Robinson explained that the commitment of funding support from the Welsh Government back in 2015 provided significant support to Calbee UK in opening the facility, which currently employees more than 32 colleagues from the local community. Additionally, there are a further 17 new vacancies that have been created as a result of the recent success of the business.
In March 2016 Calbee UK appointed Jade Jones MBE, the Olympic gold medal Taekwondo champion and Flint resident as its community engagement ambassador. Working with local community projects such as the Sunraye Project and Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Calbee UK contributes the time and resources of colleagues, who alongside Jade, deliver a commitment to important initiatives across the local area.
This builds on the activity that the business is involved with at its commercial operation in East Leeds, where it works with the Ahead Partnership, an organisation bridging the gap between education and business, through delivering a programme of activities in local schools to the benefit of young people in the area.
Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said he was delighted to hear of Calbee UK’s future plans for growth and job creation as well as the company’s involvement and support for local community projects.
“The Welsh food and drink industry is of significant importance to our economy and communities and we are working hard to ensure the success of Welsh businesses in this sector. I was particularly pleased to hear that Calbee UK aims to become a major player in the Welsh food industry with plans to significantly increase overseas sales by developing the Northern European market.
“Calbee UK has already achieved significant market growth in the UK since its launch while our Food Division is supporting its export drive through the International Trade Development Programme.
“The company’s growth and success supports our targets to increase the turnover of the food and drink industry in Wales by 30% by 2020.”
Robinson also took the time during the visit to share the strategic plans for the business, including its focus to be admired, respected and loved by everyone it works with, to become a leading savoury snack supplier and to meet with sales targets of £65m by 2020.
“We are very proud of our savoury snack facility at Deeside but we know that an organisation is about more than just machinery. We have used our experience from Japan to create a culture that supports our colleagues and makes them feel valued.
“As part of this we have now signed up as a member of the voluntary National Living Wage foundation, committing to pay all of our production colleagues a minimum of £8.25 per hour. In addition, Calbee UK also offer all our colleagues a generous benefits package of private healthcare, pension and free life assurance.
“We are very pleased the Minister chose to come to visit our facility and we hope that we were able to showcase how we are working hard to make a difference and to be an employer that is making a positive contribution to the local area, as well as providing employment in a business we can all be proud of.
For further details about Calbee UK please visit www.calbee.co.uk