Cheale Meats’ cull sow and pig operation has transferred from its abattoir in Brentwood, Essex, to C&K Meats’ plant in Eye, Suffolk.
The last kill date at Brentwood was Friday, March 31. Cheales has, for many years, been the primary outlet for cull sows in the UK, with much of the meat being shipped to Germany. It currently supplies around 400 tonnes of meat per week to mainland Europe and other worldwide destinations, and 300t/week for the UK market.
Company director Adam Cheale explained that the business was streamlining its slaughter operations to move to a more efficient way of slaughtering pigs.
“As a result, C&K are contract killing for us in Suffolk,” he said. “But our service to producers and customers remains unchanged. It’s obviously a difficult time for us and the staff, but I want to stress we will carry on serving our suppliers and customers, just in a slightly different way – Marcus Cheale and I are still fully involved.”
There will be redundancies as a result of the move, and Cheales remains in consultation with staff at Brentwood.
Cheales also has a site in Mansfield and has received planning permission to expand further pork processing and distribution in Brentwood to be built on green belt land.
Mr Cheale said the expansion would provide more jobs locally. The development will also include a combined heat and power (CHP) plant providing energy for the whole facility, reducing carbon emissions by up to 30%.
A planning committee member said he believed the application had ‘enormous merit’. “I believe it’s also a sustainable development in that the site is one of the few applications I’ve seen where a business has already got solar power panels installed to actually provide their own electricity,” he said.