Cranswick Acquires Free-Range Producer Packington Pork
Cranswick, one of the UK's largest pork producers, has announced the acquisition of Packington Pork Limited, a supplier of British free-range and outdoor-bred pigs.
The business, which is operated by the Mercer family, operates predominantly across Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, and has worked closely with Cranswick for more than 14 years.
The deal increases Cranswick's self-sufficiency in UK pigs processed to more than 25%, 'securing direct control over a significant part of its supply chain for premium pigs', the company said.
It has also reinforced the company's commitment to the development of a sustainable and traceable farm to fork operation.
“This acquisition strengthens our existing farming operations and reinforces our commitment to supporting and growing the British pig farming industry," commented Adam Couch, Cranswick chief executive. "It also aligns to our strategy of enhanced transparency and provenance of our food from farm to fork."
The transaction does not include the Packington Free Range business, which will be retained by the Mercer family as a standalone business.
Supply Chain Boost
Commenting on the deal, Dean Best, food editor at GlobalData, said that the deal is likely to mitigate potential supply chain issues arising from the ongoing African swine fever issue in Asia and parts of Europe.
"Even though Cranswick processes one third of all pigs in the UK, the company – until today’s deal for Packington Pork – only had direct control over around a fifth of its supplies. This acquisition takes that level to more than 25%," he said.
“The African swine fever outbreak has the potential to reshape global pork supplies as well as severely affect Chinese production. It has also affected other parts of Asia and even some countries in Europe. Therefore, there could be upward pressure on global pig prices. Adding another supplier to Cranswick’s portfolio could help mitigate some of that pressure."
At the same time, however, Best added that he believed the deal had more to do with Cranswick's aim to have more control over its supply chain, "to meet UK retailer demands for security of suppliers, rather than reacting to the impact of African swine fever".
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.