Scottish abattoir on course to double capacity

A multi-million pound Scottish abattoir development at the Brechin site formerly owned by AP Jess is on schedule for completion towards the end of the year, according to owner Quality Pork Limited (QPL).

The company said its investment would effectively double the slaughter capacity at the site and create a state-of-the-art processing facility, producing Specially Selected Pork and Red Tractor Pork for a wide range of domestic and export customers.

QPL is a joint venture between producer cooperatives Scottish Pig Producers and Scotlean, brokered by the Scottish Agriculture Organisation Society. Scottish Government has provided funding of 2.7m from the Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation scheme.

The expanded facility will be a huge boost for the Scottish pig industry, QPL explained: Since the closure of Vions Broxburn plant, a large proportion of the weekly kill has had to head south of the border for processing.

Furthermore, a considerable number of weaner pigs born in Scotland are also currently sold to English farmers for finishing and the intention is to redirect these to more local finishing, minimising transport distances and further enhancing welfare. The new Brechin facility will ensure that Scotland has sufficient capacity for all pigs born in Scotland to be slaughtered in Scotland.

The investment will create a new slaughter line, as well as chilling and lorry-wash facilities.

Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, said: The investment in additional slaughtering capacity at Brechin is a fantastic boost for the Scottish pig industry and we look forward to the increased capacity at the plant becoming operational later this year.

Scottish Pig Producers and Scotlean Pigs added that they are working with a number of parties, such as banks and feed companies, to develop a support programme for new pig producers in Scotland. They will be hosting an event for the National Farmers Union Scotlands New Generation Group during the summer.

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