150 new jobs for Fenland as Asda produce importer prepares to open factory

MORE than 150 jobs will be created when a produce importer opens a factory in Fenland to pack flowers and plants for Asda stores across the country.

IPL, which like Asda is owned by Wal-Mart, will move into units next month owned by The Abbey Group in Whittlesey after securing a lease.

A company spokesman said: “Asda is moving its houseplants and flowers business into the IPL direct-sourcing model with a new site based in Whitlesey which will employ over 150 colleagues packing flowers and plants for all Asda depots.

“IPL has already recruited an extensive team to purchase in country and have set up a unique supply chain to flow goods through to the facility.

“The IPL model pushes value to both ends of the supply chain by cutting out the middle-man. This ensures that growers get a direct relationship with us and get a fair deal and customers get great value.”

IPL was formed six years ago and manages all fruit categories exclusively for Asda. It was created in 2004 by joint shareholders Bakkavor and Teresa Hermanow and in October 2009 was purchased by Asda.

The company is based in Normanton, West Yorkshire, where it also runs a warehouse and packhouse operation for fresh produce.

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A second site in Sittingbourne, Kent, also handles fresh produce as well as cheese, fresh pasta and pate.