Bakkavor, the London-based private-label supplier to major UK grocers, is hiring 150 workers at its bagged and bowled salad plant in south-east England.

The full-time roles at the Tilmanstone facility in the county of Kent cover day, evening and night shifts and add to the 150 additional workers taken on at the same plant in 2017.

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Bakkavor serves UK supermarkets chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer with products ranging from ready meals to desserts, pizza and bread.

“The jobs boost is a response to Tilmanstone’s exciting growth plans that have been developed in partnership with its premium supermarket customers and a growing national trend in online food shopping,” Bakkavor said in a statement. “This is culminating in an exciting range relaunch in the coming months.”

Dan Hill, the general manager for the Tilmanstone site, added Bakkavor is "creating significant employment opportunities at a very challenging time for the local economy", with the business, like other food manufacturers, impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bakkavor, which also exports to the US and China, was hit with an outbreak at Tilmanstone last year, with two employees dying from the virus. And last summer, the company confirmed the closure of its salad plant in Spalding, Lincolnshire, which also reported cases along with a plant in Newark, Nottingham, blaming lost business linked to the pandemic.

On a brighter note, it announced 100 new jobs in November at its plant in the market town of Highbridge near Taunton in Somerset.