ABP to close Blackburn plant

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

ABP will move operations to Shropshire to become more sustainable
ABP will move operations to Shropshire to become more sustainable

Related tags Abp food group Recycling Slaughterhouse

ABP Food Group will close its Blackburn manufacturing plant and move operations to its newly-opened Ellesmere site in Shropshire, the firm has confirmed.

All employees at the Great Harwood factory in Blackburn were offered new roles within the meat processing business, ABP claimed.

“This​ [decision to stop production at the Blackburn site] follows a review of activities at the site and the reopening of the new state of the art abattoir at ABP Ellesmere,”​ a spokesman for ABP told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

“The company has undertaken a full collective consultation with colleagues at Blackburn, all of whom were offered alternative roles elsewhere in the company.”

£20M investment in sustainability

ABP invested £20M in its Ellesmere site in a bid to make it a carbon neutral facility.

After lengthy negotiations, ABP was granted planning permission to knock down and rebuild its Ellesmere factory to redesign it to conform with the latest environmental standards.

This included: energy efficient lighting, sustainable drainage, rainwater recycling system and technology to reduce operational energy consumption and benefit animal welfare.

The facility would also allow the firm to fulfil its entire processing procedures – from slaughter to packaging – in one site.

Recycled waste for new structure

ABP recycled demolition masonry, block and brickwork into the new structure, recovered more than 55t of steel and preserved about 50 light fittings for use in the new project.

It shredded all waste wood for chipboard manufacture, sent window frames and plastics to be turned into plastic regrind and sent cardboard to be recycled in paper mills, it claimed.

The firm also held a sustainability summit to help share initiatives between the divisions of the business.

Dean Holroyd, technical and sustainability director for ABP Food Group, said: “Whilst our top line agenda and major investments are key to our ‘Doing More With Less’ strategy, engaging and encouraging ideas from across our sites is equally fundamental to the sustainability agenda.”

Meanwhile, ABP took part in skills and careers event Skills Show to showcase the many roles within the meat industry that did not demand butchery and slaughter – such as engineering, IT, sales and purchasing.


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