Culina has named food giant General Mills as the ‘anchor’ client at its new 280,000ft² ambient logistics facility at Port Salford.

The food firm, which markets brands including Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Green Giant, Betty Crocker, Nature Valley and Yoplait, will be the first customer at the site, which is due to open fully in April next year.

The site will act as a central hub for General Mills’ ambient brands arriving via short sea movements from mainland Europe, with Culina handling deliveries from the site to retailers nationwide.

General Mills UK & Ireland supply chain director Dave Howorth said the move to the site would enable a demand-driven logistics operation with load-efficient multi-supplier consolidated deliveries to large retail customers, 364 days a year.

The site’s packaging capabilities would also allow ‘close-to-demand’ pack format differentiation, he added.

“We are very excited about this new distribution agreement as it reinforces our commitment to finding solutions that are best for customers, consumers and the environment,” he said. “Our move to Port Salford ticks all those boxes.”

Plans to establish the new Port Salford site were announced by Culina last month. Housing up to 45,000 pallets, it will be located at the National Import Centre adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal and the M60/M62 motorways, and should employ around 280 staff including around 50 from the nearby Middleton operation, which is now due to close.