UK: Tulip eyes Chinese expansion after factory investment

By Hannah Abdulla | 19 February 2014

Tulip is looking to China and Hong Kong for pig export opportunities

Tulip is looking to China and Hong Kong for pig export opportunities

UK pork manufacturer Tulip has set its sights on China after the company invested GBP37m (US$62m) into upgrading its facilities for export markets.

Tulip, part of Denmark-based co-op Danish Crown, has spent GBP22m spent on upgrading its Ashton and Spalding facilities. A further GBP15m will be invested at its Westerleigh site this summer. Tulip wants to increase exports to China and Hong Kong by 3,000 tonnes over the next year.

"We already export over 41,000 tonnes of pig meat globally, however, we see potential for enormous future growth in the Chinese market. As the UK's leading pork processor we are extremely well placed to make the most of upcoming opportunities," Tulip CEO Chris Thomas said.

"We have and are continuing to invest in our UK processing operation to meet the demands of our ambitious growth plans for our export business. We believe this will allow additional facilities to gain approval from China during 2014."

The investment is on the back of a 2012 deal between the UK's pork sector and China to boost export volumes. The deal was worth approximately GBP50m.

Tulip has 17 fresh and cooked meat sites across the UK.

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Britain's leading food solutions business, Tulip Ltd, is pushing ahead with ambitious plans to build upon trade links with the Chinese pig meat market.

The company started exporting pork products to China in 2012 following a successful UK trade mission in 2011, which culminated in a landmark deal signed in May 2012, worth approximately £50m to the UK's pork export sector.

The initiative to increase its export volumes has seen Tulip invest over £22m upgrading its Ashton and Spalding facilities with a further £15m currently being invested at the Westerleigh site. This will enable the business to increase exports to China and Hong Kong from 12,000 tonnes in 2013 to over 15,000 tonnes during the coming year.
Tulip Chief Executive Officer Chris Thomas said: "We are all very excited by the opportunity the Chinese market offers the Tulip business.

"We already export over 41,000 tonnes of pig meat globally, however, we see potential for enormous future growth in the Chinese market. As the UK's leading pork processor we are extremely well placed to make the most of upcoming opportunities.

"We have and are continuing to invest in our UK processing operation to meet the demands of our ambitious growth plans for our export business. We believe this will allow additional facilities to gain approval from China during 2014."

Andrew Saunders, Agriculture Director at Tulip, added: "Last year's trade delegation, which built on the enormous amount of work already undertaken by British Pig Executive (BPEX) and Defra, has really cleared the way for UK companies to enhance access to the Chinese market. Having established good links of our own we can now look at increasing both the volume and the mix of product we currently supply, which is fantastic news for both Tulip and the UK's pig farming industry."
Work at Ashton and Spalding is now complete, with Westerleigh due for completion during summer 2014. Tulip Ltd has 17 sites across the UK and employs over 8,000 people.

Tulip currently exports a range of up to 16 products including pork tongues, heads and tailbones, and is close to agreeing the supply of pig trotters to add to its expanding portfolio.
ENDS

 

Original source: Tulip

Sectors: Emerging markets, Meat & poultry

Companies: Danish Crown

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