ABP announces acquisition of Chitty plant

Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) has announced the acquisition of the Chitty Food Group’s abattoir and boning plant in Guidlford, Surrey

ABP said that the acquisition would enhance its reach into the south of England and allow it to increase its coverage, enabiling it to work more closely with producers in the Home Counties.

It added that cattle suppliers will immediately benefit from the conditions operated for farmers by ABP, including arrangements for beef producers to receive payment for their cattle on the day they are weighed.

Tom Kirwan, managing director of ABP, said: “We have wanted to expand our services to beef farmers in the south of England for some time, and the two acquisitions this year give us additional capacity of around 1,500 cattle a week, as well as the best geographical spread of facilities in the industry.

“We already have some very strong relations with beef farmers in the south of England and we are pleased that, in future, we will be able to process their animals within their own region. Our strategic approach to regional facilities provides both financial and environmental benefits to the beef sector.

A spokesperson for ABP stressed that the acquisition is only of the Guildford abattoir and boning hall and not of the Chitty Group as a whole. It is not yet known whether there will be redundancies at the plant as a result of the facility changing hands.

ABP has invested heavily in plants, facilities and machinery over the past decade, including an £80m investment in retail packaging plants in Doncaster and Ellesmere, Shropshire and the recent purchase of an abattoir in Sturminster Newton earlier this year.

The company is already one of the largest beef companies in Europe, slaughtering and processing in excess of 300,000 cattle per year in the UK and listing major retailers and foodservice operations among its clients.

“The continued expansion of our abattoir and processing units throughout the UK demonstrates again ABP’s commitment to the UK beef industry,” said Kirwan. “Alongside the recent acquisitions, we have plans to continue to expand our beef operations through an ongoing investment programme.”

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