piglets© Tim Scrivener

Pig processing company Tulip – part of Danish co-op Danish Crown – has acquired UK pig producer Easey Holdings Ltd, subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority.

The purchase, which was finalised on Friday 8 September, means Tulip will take over family-owned Easey Holdings’ breeding herds (sows), growing herds, a veterinary practice and a livestock transport business.

Easey Holdings Ltd is a Suffolk based firm with an annual turnover of £67m with a pre-tax profit of £673,815 in the year ending 29 February 2016.

See also: 14 top tips to improve number of piglets per sow

The acquisition is Tulip’s first since the Brexit referendum last June, as well as the first since the processor appointed new CEO Steve Francis in September 2016.

Tulip is the largest UK pig business and slaughterer of pigs, with a 30% stake in the domestic pig processing market, breeding 1.5 million pigs a year, with 17 processing facilities across the country.

Danepak and Spam

The business, a co-op with 8,000 Danish farmer-owners, owns the Danepak bacon brand as well as Spam canned meat.

Customer demand for high-welfare pigmeat with strong provenance credentials was rising in the UK, said Tulip’s farming division agriculture director, Andrew Saunders.

“We are pleased the existing management team within Easey Holdings have agreed to remain in place, which will ensure we are able to retain the business’ core family values and maintain stability for employees, farmers, suppliers and customers,” he added.

No changes 

“Easey Holdings will continue to operate independently with all existing employees to be retained.

“Existing customer and supplier contracts and commitments will also be honoured,” said Mr Saunders.