Wells told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the firm’s strategic acquisition of FoodTec UK, which is based at Crewe in Cheshire, from Dairy Crest would be the main driver enabling it to reach that goal. “We are effectively doubling in size with the acquisition of FoodTec.”
The company, which employs 30 people, would boost AFI’s total processing capacity by a third, but would deliver more on top of that, said Wells. “We are looking at routes to market and routes to value and believe FoodTec gives us that opportunity.
“It has very different customers and we believe it creates significant opportunities for both businesses.”
In addition, FoodTec gave AFI access to new technology, including different blending equipment, which would enhance its capabilities, he said.
AFI, which is based in Leek, Staffordshire, and is a subsidiary of the Irish Dairy Board (IDB), supplies ingredients for a range of blue chip manufacturers and sports nutrition brands. FoodTec’s activities overlapped AFI’s, said Wells, but it also had a much more specialised focus on certain areas of nutrition.
Make products healthier
The firm provides dry blending services and also works with customers to reformulate products, providing replacement ingredients to make products healthier or enhance functional properties, such as texture or consistency. It focuses on providing egg replacers, milk replacers, dairy ingredients and gluten-free recipes, as well as bespoke formulation and storage services.
AFI would invest in FoodTec’s management team and sales focus, said Wells, with the intention of retaining all of its existing staff, including managers.
AFI announced the £1.2M acquisition of FoodTec, which was funded by IDB, on July 30. At the time, Wells said the business would “play an integral role in the future growth plans for AFI”.