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Giles Foods makes a 'quantum leap'

18 November 2010

Giles Foods, supplier of speciality breads, has taken a “quantum leap” with the opening of the first phase of a major multimillion pound expansion programme at its Pain Artisan bakery in Milton Keynes

The rapidly growing company, which supplies all the country's leading supermarkets as well as having a thriving business with wholesale distributors, cash and carry outlets, quick service restaurants and major pub chains has doubled the size of its bakery and invested £3.5 million in new plant and equipment.

The new machinery includes a technologically advanced three deck tunnel oven, the first of its kind to be installed in the UK. And according to Giles sales and marketing director David Marx there will be no let-up in the pace of investment which has already seen the bakery double in size.

In addition to the 45,000 sq ft of space that already has been developed, a new adjoining cold store and upgraded loading and distribution facilities are scheduled to come on-stream in spring 2011.

Marx said: 'The business has made a quantum leap. We've more than doubled our capacity and achieved a massive increase in product quality because one of the attributes of the new oven is that amongst other things it allows us to control the thickness of the crust
'For example, sandwich manufacturers are now coming to us and asking if we can produce a ciabatta-style product with a thinner top crust and a heavier sole crust and we are able to say “No problem”.'We've also been able to cut our input costs, reduce our carbon footprint and achieved enormous efficiencies right across the business including keeping labour costs under firm control.''

Marx revealed these efficiencies mean Giles Foods has been able to minimise the impact of the recent increase in raw material prices. He said: 'Of course we've been hit by the hike in flour prices like every baker in the country.

'However the efficiency savings mean that we've been able to suck in the majority of the rise meaning that the increase in our prices is, much to the delight of customers, way below the industry average. This investment is for the long term and not a piecemeal exercise. With it, we believe we have moved from becoming a secondary supplier of speciality breads to many of our large retail and foodservice customers to their number one supplier.'

He added that the company will shortly embark on a massive new product development programme with reformulated and new frozen and chilled products scheduled to hit the market in spring and summer next year.

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