Quality Pork Ltd (QPL) has re-opened its Brechin abattoir after undertaking an extensive reconstruction program following a major fire at the site during the summer.
The abattoir, which was only officially opened for business in September 2016, following a £10 million refurbishment, incurred extensive fire and smoke damage during the early hours of August 5.
Operations restarted today with a reduced throughput with a view to ramping up to levels before the fire. QPL has undertaken an extensive programme of building, repair and cleaning works essential to restoring operations at the site, and to ensuring the site continues to uphold the highest standards of food safety and animal welfare.
While production has now recommenced, work continues on the replacement of office and amenities facilities for the plant’s staff.
During the reconstruction programme, QPL worked closely with QMS, Scottish Government, industry organisations and its customers in order to maintain the Scottish pig supply chain.
QMS granted a temporary derogation which allowed pigs eligible for the Specially Selected Pork brand, which would have been slaughtered at Brechin, to be processed at another Tulip site specifically approved and regularly monitored by QMS representatives.
QPL staff were relocated to Tulip Ltd sites in England to maintain employment and skills, and all employees have been retained and have now returned to Brechin.
QPL Chairman Roderic Bruce, who farms in the north east of Scotland, said: “The extensive programme which has been undertaken to get this critically important site back up and running has been a truly collaborative effort.
“Not only has there been 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.
“It’s great to be back in business and I would like to thank the QPL 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.”
Image shows QPL chairman Roderic Bruce (left) and Tulip’s Andrew Saunders pictured outside the Brechin facility