Pasta Foods’ export boost plan and new apprenticeship posts

The Pasta Foods factory site off Pasteur Road in Great Yarmouth.October 2015.Picture: James Bass

The Pasta Foods factory site off Pasteur Road in Great Yarmouth.October 2015.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A leading specialist pasta and snack ingredient producer, Norfolk-based Pasta Foods, has bold plans to boost exports.

And it is also looking to take on seven new apprentice posts to join its 145-strong team at Great Yarmouth and Longwater, Costessey .

Managing director Gordon Chetwood said that the company, which was founded in 1964, was keen to recruit the next new generation into an exciting and vibrant food business.

And sales at home have also been buoyant as the world’s biggest pasta producing machine was running 24/7, he told a 23-strong group of Stalham Farmers’ Club members.

Demand for home-produced pasta and snack ingredients has been transformed since Britain’s surprise Brexit vote because sterling’s fall in value has made imports more expensive.

“We’ve got buyers queueing up for our range of products,” said Mr Chetwood.

Total pasta production has risen by 20pc, and the company expects to see its £25m turnover grow by 10pc this year.

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The company, based in Pasteur Road in Yarmouth, which became an independent in 2003, has invested a total of about £12.5m including at the new factory at Forest Way, Longwater, since December 2013.

It has enabled total production to be increased while the Waveney Mill at Yarmouth takes in monthly shipments of between 2,000 and 2,500 tonnes of high-grade durum wheat to make semolina flour for pasta production.

Its Yarmouth. the factory has also seen further growth in both pasta and also snack food ingredients – another booming sector.

It was seeking to sell more in the Far East, where its low-salt snacks were much in demand, said Mr Chetwood.

Although it usually sourced all its high-grade durum wheat from France, Farmers’ Club members were told that the latest poor harvest could pose some challenges and additionally, another major potential supplier country, Canada, was also facing difficulties.