Scotland’s specialist pig abattoir in Brechin is due to re-open in mid-November following a three-a-half month closure due to a major fire.
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.
Although the return to normal working is expected to take a few days, it’s anticipated that throughout will be back up to its normal 6000/pigs/week during November.
Run by Quality Pork Ltd (QPL), the plant is a collaboration between Scottish Pig Producers (SSP), Scotlean and Tulip. Opened to help ‘realise the potential’ of the Scottish pig industry, it was building steadily towards its 7500/pigs/week target when the fire struck.
“Tulip has been very supportive throughout the closure, processing the bulk of our displaced pigs through their plant in Ashton under Lyne,” said SSP’s Andy McGowan of SSP. “Scottish plants with pig processing facilities also took some stock, although numbers were limited in this respect. In addition, we sent a significant number of pigs to Karro in Northern Ireland.
“It has been an enormous collaborative effort involving all the key parties, including our haulage contractors who worked closely with us to keep the business moving.
“While it has been a lot of hard work for everyone involved in the temporary processing arrangement, my impression is that the impact on individual producers has been limited. They’ve generally had normal contracts and payment routes throughout the closure. It’s times like these that the coop system comes into its own.”
Headline image shows QPL chairman Roderic Bruce (left) and Tulip’s Andrew Saunders pictured outside the Brechin facility