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Stafforce Personnel has announced the acquisition of CenFRA (the Centre for food robotics and automation), based in Doncaster.

CenFRA was formed with assistance from Yorkshire Forward in 2007 as the UK’s centre of excellence for all robotic and automation activities relating to the food and drink industry.  The organisation provides consultancy and research and development services to support and promote business growth and sustainability for food and drink manufacturers across the UK. 

Ian Anderson, Chief Executive of Stafforce, said: “Our business is moving from strength to strength and acquiring CenFRA will give us the opportunity to add even more value to the services we offer to our clients. Specifically, this strategic acquisition will enhance our existing consultancy services and help us to improve the profitability of businesses in the food, drink and other industries.”

Steve Cann, General Manager of CenFRA, said: “There is a very close strategic fit between CenFRA and Stafforce.  Over the past four years, we have pioneered continuous business improvement in the food and drink industry and helped to create and safeguard a large number of jobs.  As part of a larger group, we see many opportunities to extend our expertise within the sector and enable even more food and drink businesses to benefit.”

CenFRA will retain its established brand and its services will be integrated into the Stafforce portfolio.

The organisation provides support through extensive industry knowledge, engineering expertise and project support skills.  It is unique as it is driven by industry experts for the benefit of the industry and counts senior management from ARLA Foods and Guenther Bakeries UK amongst its board directors.

Ian Anderson continues: “This is the fourth acquisition in the past 12 months for Stafforce, as we continue to expand our offer and enhance customer service.  With the expertise and skills of CenFRA we are looking forward to further developing business opportunities as a direct result of this acquisition.”

CenFRA, which is the National Skills’ Academy’s UK Strategic Champion for robotics and automation within Food and Drinks Manufacture, has close links with academic institutions and universities, which can help with access to grant funding and leading edge automation solutions. 

One of the organisation’s major achievements is in developing a fully interactive learning package, which supports the upskilling of operatives engaged in automated food manufacture on the shop floor/production area. 

Stafforce was founded over 30 years ago in Rotherham and now has over 25 branches and onsite operations nationwide. The company employs 150 people and supplies around 3,300 staff every week to industries including food, retail, manufacturing and construction.  This includes leading national companies such as Golden Wonder and Auntie Bessie’s Ltd. The company has built its reputation on adding value to customers and providing a high quality service based on knowledge, understanding, innovation and compliance.

Since CenFRA was established in 2007, the organisation has created 50 jobs in the food and drink industry, safeguarded 243 positions, helped 117 businesses to improve their performance and engaged 74 businesses in worthwhile collaborations with partners.


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