In 1932, an agreement was made with Food Machinery Corporation of the United States, for the manufacture of some of their standard Canning Equipment. A general Selling Company was set up outside the United States and Canada, called " Food Machinery (M&P) Ltd", to sell both American and British made machines, as was convenient.
The new company faced a difficult period. The expansion of Canning Industry during the first World War had been considerable and Canner's investments in plant had often out-stripped the growth of both markets for their products. Even by 1936, when the General Trade Depression had receded, the new Company did not come up to expectations, although it had served a useful purpose in opening up fresh markets in Britain and also overseas.
However, it was mutually decided to close down the sales Company, Food Machinery (M&P) Ltd. although the friendly relationship between the Food Machinery Corporation and Mather & Platt Ltd. continued. Visits and ideas was exchanged and certain American Patents were retained. Nevertheless, the business continued to expand slowly and the department was able to justify its existence.
When the second war World broke out, the small Food Machinery department turned to Government Contracts, and while making a certain amount of Dehydration Plant for the Ministry of Agriculture, its productive capacity was largely devoted to War contracts, which had no relationship to Food Machinery.
It was not until the end of the war that the demand for British Made Food Machinery really increased. The great use which was made of Canned Food as part of their daily ration. At the same time, the demand for all other products of the Firm had correspondingly increased and to relieve the congestion at Park Works, a lease was taken of the Royal Ordnance Factory at Radcliffe.
The whole of the Food Machinery Department, being the smallest and most compact Department in the Firm, was moved there. This works was suitable for light engineering, and that part of the Factory which was not required for Food Machinery became an overflow for the other departments at Park Works.
Nevertheless, the department set about putting its house in order with enthusiasm and, in its new home, expanded rapidly. Meanwhile, by the end of the war, the various patents and manufacturing agreements with Food Machinery Corporation and its subsidiaries, had run out and consideration had to be given to future policy.
Before the war, a useful trade had been carried on in Europe. This was done partially by export, and partially by local manufacture. In France, Brittany was the main centre of vegetable and fish canning and in this area S.A. MATHER & PLATT (France) had made arrangements with a local firm at QUIMPER (Finistère), Etablissements Jean LOUARN, to manufacture any Food Machinery which, for various reasons, could not be imported. Similarly, in Belgium, an arrangement was made with the firm of Edouard LECLUYSE in ANTWERP, and Food Machinery of Mather & Platt design was manufactured in both Factories for sale in Europe.