Back to business for Brechin pig slaughterhouse

A Brechin pig abattoir has reopened after suffering from fire damage. 

Quality Pork Ltd, part of the Scottish Pig Producers cooperative, has been closed since the fire on 5 August 2017. Police are still investigating the cause. 

Since reopening on Monday, 13 November, operations have been going better than expected. “We’re certainly very pleased with how this week has gone,” Andy McGowan, chief executive of Scottish Pig Producers, told Meat Trades Journal. “It has been a big relief for everybody.” 

During its temporary closure, workers at the plant were transferred to alternative Tulip facilities, which Quality Pork supplies to. After opening again in Brechin, the normal team has returned to work together.

“The extensive programme which has been undertaken to get this critically important site back up and running has been a truly collaborative effort,” said Quality Pork chairman Roderic Bruce.

“Not only has there been a huge focus on getting the site back into shape, there has been a big operation in place to ensure the impact on Scottish pig producers has been minimal.”

During the reconstruction programme, Quality Pork worked closely with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the Scottish government, industry organisations and the abattoir’s customers to maintain the Scottish pork supply chain.

A temporary derogation was granted, which allowed pigs eligible for the Specially Selected Pork brand (a Scottish initiative), which would have been slaughtered at Brechin, to maintain their status after being slaughtered in other Tulip sites in England, so long as they were specifically approved and regularly monitored by QMS representatives.

“It’s great to be back in business and I would like to thank the Quality Pork team, Tulip Ltd, QMS, Scottish government, farmers, suppliers and hauliers for the great efforts and commitment that has been required in order to maintain supply of Scottish pigs,” continued Bruce.

The Brechin site was officially launched in 2016, following a £10 million redevelopment. 

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