Customer story

Two companies, one philosophy

23 Feb 2016

Faccenda Foods and Marel Poultry share identical values

Faccenda poultry processing plant, UK

“If you want to stand out, you have to stand for something. At Faccenda Foods, we stand for the trusted delivery of agreed standards of customer service and quality provided by an intelligent, committed and motivated workforce.” With these words Philip Davidson, Operations Director at Faccenda, sums up a philosophy with which Marel Poultry can readily identify.

As well as providing class leading equipment, Marel Poultry has consistently worked with us to provide technology and methods of working which deliver true value.
- Philip Davidson, Operations Director at Faccenda

Telford expands

Until recently, cutting and deboning operations handling about 1 million broilers per week were split between factories in Telford and Dudley, 40km apart in the English West Midlands. Faccenda Foods decided to expand Telford, at the same time bringing all cutting and deboning processes under one roof. Not only did this give Faccenda a brand new portioning plant; it also enabled the company to develop new business for its Dudley site.

Faccenda and Marel Poultry partnershipJeff Donald (Marel Poultry Account Manager UK & Ireland) and Philip Davidson (Operations Director Faccenda).

A long partnership

Faccenda Foods is Marel Poultry’s longest standing UK customer. The two companies have been working together for more than 40 years and Marel Poultry had supplied the original equipment at Telford and Dudley.

“As well as providing class leading equipment, Marel Poultry has consistently worked with us to provide technology and methods of working which deliver true value. The company understands us and comes up with solutions which are right for our business. Their proposal for the new factory proved this yet again,” says Philip Davidson.

Ready for the future

The new 10,000m² (2,5 acres) factory currently handles 1.2 million broilers a week, with scope for up to 2 million broilers per week. It is equipped with two 6,500 bph (108 bpm) ACM-NT cut-up systems, both with the latest modules including SmartWeigher.

Two new 3,600 bph (60 bpm) AMF-BX FlexControl systems join four systems transferred from Dudley. All six feature semi-automatic loading, PLC control and automatic breast tendon and cartilage harvesting. Two existing shorter systems, used mainly for foodservice specials, complete the breast filleting line-up. Two extended four-cell RoboBatcher Flex systems batch and place fillets onto retail trays.

SystemFlex conveyors

To ensure that processes knit seamlessly together, Marel Poultry was asked to supply belt conveyor systems. And so Telford became the launch site for the new SystemFlex system. Its completely modular design promises flexibility and low cost of ownership.

Successful system approach

Philip Davidson says, “Results so far have been impressive and we are really seeing the benefits of an intelligent system approach to breast filleting. The combination of SmartWeigher and “Floating Point” software ensures each AMF-BX FlexControl is continually supplied with sized caps. PLC control means we can automatically adjust filleting settings delivering top quality, high yield product to the RoboBatchers. These can handle 600 fillets per minute into a combination of up to 5 simultaneous pack variants producing up to 300 trays per minute depending on pack size. With the new system we can be sure that we are giving our customers what they expect from us: top quality breast fillet in same weight packs on a repeatable basis. Our production people are happy too: yields are up and giveaway and labor down.

Leg products benefit too. SmartWeigher, clever software and by-passable modules allow us to turn each leg into a whole leg, thigh or drumstick portion, depending on customer demand.”

Ongoing commitment

Comprehensive after sales care is also part of Marel Poultry’s commitment. Philip Davidson again, “We fully subscribe to the SLA system developed together with Marel Poultry. This is not just about maintaining performance levels. It also involves regular visits from Marel Poultry technologists, who critically assess our operation and work with us to improve it. They advise on settings, modifications and upgrades and provide our staff with refresher training.

For us it’s about more than just equipment; but really making sure that we’re getting the most out of it. Marel Poultry understands this so that, ultimately, our customers are the ones who benefit.”


Company profile:

  • Founded more than 50 years ago
  • Wholly family owned
  • Third largest broiler concern in the UK processing 2 million birds per week
  • Took over the Cranberry Foods turkey operation in 2012
  • Recently took over the duck specialist Cherry Valley Foods
  • Only UK processor processing broilers, ducks and turkeys
  • Services both retail and food service sectors
  • Annual turnover well in excess of GBP 500 million (€ 683 mln, $ 761 mln)