By FWi staff

RECENT press speculation has suggested that Malton Foods, the UKs largest pigmeat processor, may soon be cut loose by the parent company Uniq (formerly Unigate).

City sources are pointing to a six-month loss of over 5 million, compared with profits of 1.3m a year earlier.

This follows the recent Malton announcement of the closure of their Middlesborough plant with the loss of 450 jobs at the end of the year.

There are suggestions that the company could be available for just one penny plus the value of the working capital.

Some producer-owned groups are reported to be looking at putting in a bid although in the past, farmer-run meat plants do not have a good track record.

However the pig industry as a whole remains very much influenced by Maltons position in the market and many can still remember their 28 May, 1998 decision to serve notice on all AAPP contracts.

This marked the start of the UK pig price decline which lasted until the start of the new Millennium.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry

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