Australian food brand Patties Foods Ltd has acquired the land, building and equipment site at Simplot’s Pakenham facility in Victoria and has secured a multi-year contract to manufacture Leggo’s pasta products.
In August last year Simplot announced plans to exit the frozen meals category and a proposed closure of the Packeham site, where it produced Nestlé’s Lean Cuisine.
Patties will use the facility to produce Leggo’s products for Simplot Australia as well as Patties own chilled and sweet options from its fruit production line. Patties Bairnsdale bakery will continue to act as the company’s specialist site for savoury baked goods.
“As the world’s largest savoury pie maker, we are experiencing consistent increasing demand for our products in Australia and abroad. said Paul Hitchcock, CEO of Patties Foods.
“The greater capacity and resources we now have has us placed in a strong position as we continue to grow our manufacturing sites and product offerings into 2019. Our values of trust, ownership, courage and integrity continue to be put into action as we expand our business.”
Graham Dugdale managing director of Simplot Australia praised the Packenham team and assured workers that they would be supported with career transition, outplacement support and redundancy payments.
“Since opening the Pakenham site in 2009, we have had a hard-working and dedicated team. At this time, the welfare of our people is our main focus and we will ensure ongoing support is provided throughout the process,” Dugdale said.
Patties Foods will directly communicate with Simplot employees on future employment options, with the acquisition allowing for the creation of more jobs within Patties Foods over the next 12 months.