Premier Foods’ Ashford Story
Premier Foods is one of the most established businesses in the Ashford area. The food manufacturer started production in 1957, employs 370 people, and covers a 10-acres site.
It produces 450 different products, of these, well-known household brands include; Bisto, Hovis, Batchelors, Sharwoods and Paxo.
It is the engaged workforce with a good skill level that Factory General Manager Simon Ellmore believes is the key to its stability and growth.
“Our workforce has given Premier Foods a stable and consistent delivery of good quality foods. One of our biggest assets is the capability and attitude of our workforce,” Simon says.
“Testament to this is the recent decision by the company to transfer production of Bird’s Custard and Angel Delight to the Ashford Site. This drives a level of investment to the site and maintains a healthy business for the area.”
“Our logistics has also been strengthened by improved transport links around Ashford and the completion of junction 10a on the M20 will have a big positive impact on our distribution.”
“Being 1.5 miles from the motorway also makes it easier for staff to drive to the factory, whilst the nearby high speed rail line is used for frequent business meetings at other Premier Food locations such as St Albans.”
Premier Foods has also had strong support from local MP Damian Green. One recent visit was in support of ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’, part of a nationwide campaign to provide skills training to help young people looking for work.
“We work closely with the local community”, Simon comments, “it is important to us that we can work in tandem with positive, local initiatives where possible.”
When innovation is discussed for Premier Foods, the answer again comes back to its workforce.
“The future looks strong,” says Simon.
“We have a strong market share, a stable workforce with low staff turnover and well established brands.
Ashford is very dynamic and has found a new identity over the past few years, with its forging links to London and the continent, this all helps businesses to thrive and continue to attract the best people and future investment.