Eville & Jones moves into NI with DAERA contract
Nationwide veterinary inspection services company, Eville & Jones, has been appointed by the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), which oversees the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) meat and dairy hygiene inspection in the Province to support it in slaughterhouses.
The contract will see Eville & Jones supply up to 22 Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs) to assist Official Vets (OVs) in post-mortem inspection and verification of compliance with food hygiene legislation on the production and handling of meat for human consumption.
The successful bid, which is worth £1 million over three years to the company that already supervises 75% of the British meat industry, is the first step of a strategic plan to move into new operating territories and service areas.
Chief executive officer of Eville & Jones, Charles Hartwell, said: “We are delighted with the new partnership, which gives us the opportunity to add value to a third home nation’s safe and welfare-led meat production as the countdown to full Brexit drives a rising demand for our services and advice.
“We are fast boosting our national field force of vets as we help the UK industry gear up for every eventuality, making any permutation – from an unlikely free trade agreement to a hard Brexit to WTO rules – entirely manageable.”
Hartwell explained that, from 1st January, every meat operation involved in or supporting EU exports is likely to require vet checks that haven’t been demanded for nearly 50 years, causing huge upheaval, costs and supply chain disruption unless prepared for now.
He said: “We are fast boosting our national field force of vets as we help the UK industry gear up for every eventuality, making any permutation – from an unlikely free trade agreement to a hard Brexit to WTO rules – entirely manageable.”
The new contract comes hard on the heels of Eville & Jones’ reappointment as sole supplier to the FSA of official veterinary controls and inspection in all slaughterhouses in England and Wales. This followed a thorough tender process to best ensure that food is safe and animal welfare protected in FSA-approved establishments, by providing OVs and MHIs to work alongside the Authority’s staff.
It led to the fresh award of six separate contracts across all areas of England and Wales to the incumbent, in a three-year-term valued at £84m.
Charles Hartwell added: “We are in discussion with a host of official government agencies and food producers, processors and exporters ranging from SMEs to global players, about how we can support them.”