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This follows news in January from the company that it had invested £12m​ in automated production for new poultry products, which would complete at the end of 2022. 

As part of this latest investment Avara Foods has introduced what it called ‘cutting-edge technology’ to deliver its 2022 BBQ range. It said that the new products can be produced with fewer, higher skilled people, less packaging and are easier for consumers to prepare and cook.

The automated lines pack a range of BBQ products, including dark meat and flavoured options, directly into a pouch. The new process, which features in-pouch marination, removes much of the manual process in production, increasing productivity and efficiency while reducing plastic use by over 60%.

Temporary labour

Avara said that the automation reduces its reliance on temporary labour. 

“In previous years servicing volatile BBQ demand has meant a strong reliance on seasonal and temporary labour,”​ said Andrew Brodie, people director at Avara.  

“We know seasonal workers are in short supply, but this latest round of automation means we can manage people numbers through our normal local recruitment activities while ensuring a consistent supply of BBQ products to our retail customers.”

The automation also means more skilled roles, creating opportunities for development and progression, the company said. 

Brodie added: “The difference is that we need fewer, but more highly skilled people to keep that automation running smoothly, and we can recruit them from our local communities. It’s a completely different role and one that’s much more attractive to people who are looking for a career, rather than a job.”