Cranswick has said its acquisition of pig breeder East Anglian Pigs will bring it closer to the supply base and offer consumers greater transparency in provenance and quality assurance.
The UK pork group this morning (30 April) announced a deal to acquire the operations of EAP for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, Cranswick said, will strengthen its position in the premium, high-welfare pork sector and further shorten its pork supply chain.
The purchase comes at an interesting time for the UK pig industry given the contraction of domestic supply in recent years, the imposition of a new EU-wide welfare rule and the fall-out from the horsemeat scandal across Europe.
In this light, there has been an increasing interest for UK retailers to source higher quality and high welfare accredited British pork.
Cranswick chief executive Adam Couch told just-food the acquisition of EAP will give its customers and the end consumer further assurance as to the provenance and quality of meat products.
“The deal is very much motivated by the transparency side of things and for us to get closer to our supply base so we have a completely integrated approach and supply for our customers. The end consumer is obviously looking for greater transparency as well in where their products and purchases are coming from and that was also a further motivation for us. That was very much in our forethought.”
Panmure Gordon analyst Damian McNeela agreed that the acquisition should improve Cranswick’s “security and surety of high welfare British pork” to its key customers in the UK.
He added: “The transaction price has not been disclosed but we would expect the acquisition to be modestly earnings enhancing on completion.”
EAP is understood to produce around 6,000 pigs per week of which around 75% are sold to Cranswick.
EAP will continue to supply its wider customer base following the completion of the transaction.
Click here for just-food’s full interview with Couch.