COOL concerns help drive Vion meat processing investment

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply chain Supply chain management Agriculture Vion

Growing demand for meat with a clear provenance was one driver behind a multi-million pound investment programme by Vion to expand its processing operations in Scotland and create 250 new jobs.

The company said “significant investment”​ at its Coupar Angus chicken processing plant has seen the creation of five new packing lines – enabling it to offer complete country of origin assurances, as the birds would now be hatched, reared and processed in Scotland, with the birds grown with feed from Vion’s own Scottish mill.

The initiative also includes a new chill chain and portion cutting facilities – where previously the plant dealt mainly with whole birds, communications controller Robert Smith told

“In the past, the meat industry has been very production driven and we need to become more market led,”​ he added. “We have looked at the signals from the marketplace over demands about provenance and this is a response to those customer and consumer concerns.”

Supply chain

The meat giant also announced that an extra 100 jobs had been created at the Added Value plant at Cambuslang – which had grown its business by 25 per cent in 2010. In addition, 234 jobs at the site had been safeguarded with the help of a Scottish Enterprise Regional Selective Assistance grant of £650,000.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, added: “This expansion by Vion is terrific news not just for the Scottish food and drink industry, but for the whole supply chain and particularly the farming sector.”

Rural Affairs secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the plans as “excellent news for Scotland’s food sector”

“In addition to its position as a major food processor Vion also has significant production interests in Scotland and, consequently, plays a key role in Scotland's food supply-chain​,” he added.

Smith said the cash injection into its Scottish plants was part of a widespread investment programme into it UK processing operations - but declined to provide exact figures.

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood

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