County’s food and drink industry bucks the trend to increase employment

Giles Turrell, CEO at Weetabix, says that Northamptonshire will remain at the heart of the business.
Giles Turrell, CEO at Weetabix, says that Northamptonshire will remain at the heart of the business.

Northamptonshire’s food and drink industry is going against the grain by showing growth in employment.

A report released today (November 29) shows that food and drink related employment in the county has risen by five per cent this year compared to a national decrease of three per cent.

The report by the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) shows the county’s industry is booming and states that business leaders are predicting a further 3,500 jobs will be created by 2021.

More good news was heard today as Weetabix CEO Giles Turrell said that the company has exciting times ahead as it looks to expand into China but their Burton Latimer site will remain at the heart of the business.

He said: “ We are always keen to remember our heritage and we are coming up to our 80th birthday.

“We have been in Northamptonshire all that time, and the UK market, and the Northamptonshire sites will remain at the heart of the business.

“Not only that farmers in the county are a key part of our business. We look to source all of our wheat within a 50 mile radius of our Burton Latimer site and will continue to do so.”

The report was revealed today at the Putting Northamptonshire on the Food and Drink Map event at the Sunley Conference Centre, at Northampton University.

The event was attended by around 100 local and regional businesses from the food and drink industry as they joined to discuss the future of the sector.

Mr Turrell was the keynote speaker at the event and was joined on a panel by a number of prominent members from local businesses.

More than ten per cent of the UK’s wheat is either stored, milled, or processed, within the county’s boundaries, according to the report.