19 June 1998

Malton buys slaughterer to increase market share

PIG processor Malton Foods, which recently announced plans to terminate a number of buying contracts with producers, has acquired south-west-based slaughterer Case & Sons.

Unigate-subsidiary Malton is the UKs biggest pig slaughterer with almost 30% of the market. It kills 80,000 pigs a week and the purchase of Case & Sons, which slaughters 5500 pigs a week, will increase that share to beyond 34%.

Unigate officials declined to reveal how much it paid for Case & Sons, saying only that "the purchase price is not significant in the context of Unigates overall business".

Case & Sons employs 200 staff at two processing sites, near Shaftesbury and Taunton. Existing staff are expected to remain with the company under local management.

lThe Scottish NFU is asking pig buyers like Malton Foods to think again and retain Meat and Livestock Commission prices as a basis for contracts. It also urges them to allow for newly added charges like waste disposal when quoting prices.

Such moves will retain "transparency" and encourage greater co-operation within the industry, helping farmers and processors to compete with foreign pigmeat production, says pigs convenor Andrew Peddie. &#42