Cranswick acquires premium outdoor pig farming business
Cranswick plc has acquired Packington Pork Limited from the Mercer family.
Packington Pork Limited comprises pig farming and rearing operations and specialises in the production of British free range and outdoor bred pigs. The business operates predominantly from a range of sites across Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.
The transaction, said Cranswick, will increase its self-sufficiency in the UK pigs it processes to over 25%, securing direct control over a significant part of its supply chain for premium pigs and reinforce its commitment to developing a sustainable and traceable farm to fork operation.
The transaction does not include the Packington Free Range business, which will be retained by the Mercer family as a standalone business operating under the Packington brand.
Adam Couch, CEO of Cranswick, commented: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of the premium pig farming business, Packington Pork Limited.
“This acquisition strengthens our existing farming operations and reinforces our commitment to supporting and growing the British pig farming industry.
“It also aligns to our strategy of enhanced transparency and provenance of our food from farm to fork. We have worked closely with the business for over 14 years. We welcome the existing farm management team and look forward to investing in and developing the business over the coming years.”
Dean Best, at GlobalData, says: “Cranswick, which accounts for more than half of the UK’s exports of pig meat, has been able to capitalise on growing demand from China, which has seen domestic production decimated by the African swine fever outbreak.
“However, 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%.
“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.
“That said, in the round, the move for Packington – an existing supplier – is more about Cranswick’s ongoing ambitions 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.”