Growing global foods firm seeks more workers as demand for products soars

The Surya food factory in Harwich Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

The Surya food factory in Harwich Picture: GOOGLEMAPS - Credit: Archant

A major food firm is seeking more frontline production staff as it ramps up production to meet “unprecedented” demand.

Family-run Surya Foods has appealed for machine operatives, production and warehouse staff for its main manufacturing site in Harwich.

The rice and world food supplier said it needs dozens of extra hands to keep up with orders.

While its headquarters staff have worked from home during lockdown, its food factory workers have continued to help keep supermarket shelves filled with products during the crisis.

Parent firm Flying Trade Group, which has a £170m turnover and employs 1500 staff, operates across the food and leisure sectors and owns Surya Hotels Ltd. The fast-growing firm, run by brothers Harry and Suki Dulai, recently invested in a new snack-making production line at Harwich, creating 30 new jobs at the plant, which employs about 350 people.

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Suki Dulai said: “The world looks very different at the moment and we all have a role to play in meeting the challenges that lie ahead.

“As a leading food supplier in the UK it is essential that we remain operational and efficient during this outbreak because our business has an important role to play in the British food supply chain.”

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But while remaining operational, the firm has implemented social distancing across the business in line with government advice, he said.

“However some workers simply need to work on the front line in production and at present we need many more hands. Those who come forward can be assured their efforts are greatly needed as we all pull together in difficult times.

“We are in a unique position as we pack our rice on site in Harwich. At present we have switched a great part of production away from larger bags to smaller 1kg bags as these will be vital to ensuring supplies can be shared fairly across greater numbers.”

Surya Foods has its own rice polishing facility on site.

The business occupies all 11 acres of Harwich industrial park, where it manufactures one of the UK’s top three dry rice brands, Laila Basmati. It is one of Tendring district’s biggest employers, with products going into supermarket giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, as well as to independent retailers.

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