Scottish pork plant to double output after £2.7M grant

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pork, Meat, Scottish government

Record investment: the £2.7M grant was one of the largest ever investments in the Scottish pig sector, said Allan Jess
Record investment: the £2.7M grant was one of the largest ever investments in the Scottish pig sector, said Allan Jess
The biggest pork processing plant in Scotland, AP Jess in Brechin, is to nearly double output, after a grant of £2.7M from the Scottish government.

The investment, announced today (February 11), will create 20 new full time jobs and safeguard a further 42 posts. It will also provide key investment in the infrastructure supporting Scotland’s beleaguered pig sector – just over a year after the closure of Halls of Broxburn, where most Scottish pork was previously processed.

All the pork processed at the Brechin factory will be bought by Tulip – the UK’s largest pork producer and processor.

Allan Jess, md of A.P. Jess Brechin Limited, welcomed the Scottish government’s investment, which he described as “one of the largest ever” ​in the Scottish pork industry.

Jess said the firm’s relationship with Tulip had developed over the past three years and without its support the project could not have taken place. “This project will make the plant one of the most modern in Europe and will strengthen the availability of the Scottish Specially Selected Pork brand,” ​he added.

‘One of the most modern in Europe’

“We would like to thank the cabinet secretary ​[Richard Lochead] and everyone at the Scottish government for this grant and their support.”

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said Scottish farms produce about £81M of pig meat a year for processing, and the closure of Halls of Broxburn was “a severe blow”​ to our pig industry. Before its closure, Halls of Broxburn handled 80% of all pork processed in Scotland.

“This award to A.P. Jess in Brechin is a major investment in the infrastructure supporting Scotland’s pig sector, and will go a long way in rebuilding capacity in the supply chain,”​ said Lochhead.

“As well as creating and safeguarding jobs in Brechin, the Scottish government is actively supporting pig farming and the Specially Selected Pork brand, which is renowned for its quality, provenance, and high welfare standards.

A new chapter​’

“A new chapter beckons for our pig industry. I am confident this investment will, in time, increase the size of the Scottish pig herd and the volume of Scottish Selected Pork going into the market place.”

Gordon McKen, md Scottish Pig Producers, said the Brechin site was ideally placed in our main pig producing area and the planned upgrade will give producers confidence to invest in the sector.

“It is also extremely important for Scottish consumers as the Scottish SPCA label, displayed on the Specially Selected Pork brand, is in increasing demand,”​ said McKen. “Initially championed by Asda, it is now showing on an ever expanding range of pork products by Aldi, Tesco and some independent butchers.”

The brand guarantees the animals have been born, reared and processed in Scotland giving full traceability and assurance, he added.

Tulip operates 17 fresh and cooked meat sites and employs more than 8,000 people. 

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