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Job hopes in Food Producer deal

A Convenience Food Manufacturer has revealed plans to create North-East jobs after buying a specialist firm.

Symington’s is targeting growth at Tanfield Foods, in Consett, County Durham, after acquiring the company.

The firm, which has brands including Ragu, Chicken Tonight and Ainsley Harriott, says Tanfield will become a centre of excellence for some of its products.

Tanfield, known for its Look What We Found ready meals, which are stocked by supermarkets including Asda and Sainsbury’s, and its Ilumi allergy free range, employs about 90 workers.

However, Symington’s told The Northern Echo it hopes to lift that number.

A spokeswoman said: “Our plans are most definitely to grow the business.

“It’s only day one, but we are planning growth and also aiming to double turnover.”

David Salkeld, Symington’s chief executive, added: “The acquisition is a positive step forward in strengthening our position in branded convenience food.

The two companies have a proven track record of success in product innovation and brand development in these growing categories and working together we are very well placed to continue to surprise and delight our consumers.”

In 2005, it launched Look What We Found, which bosses say provides restaurant-quality food in pouches capable of being stored for up to a year without the need for preservatives.

Geoff Allison, Tanfield Foods’ managing director, added: “The company has come a long way since its inception nearly ten years ago, but it needs to change to secure its future.

“I’m delighted with the Symington’s deal.

“A combination of their strong retail relationships and extensive brand portfolio, alongside our highly skilled team, top quality production facilities and modern packaging formats, will drive rapid sales growth.

“We are looking forward to helping develop further the ambient convenience food sector.

“It’s exciting times ahead.”

Tanfield has worked with a number of well-known companies, including Virgin Trains and British Airways, and was previously approached by the BBC to provide meals for stars taking part in Comic Relief.

Source: - 20 October 2014