Hall’s of Broxburn plant’s future uncertain

The future of the Hall’s of Broxburn processing plant, which accounts for 71% of Scottish pigmeat, remains uncertain.

An industry taskforce, including Scottish finance secretary John Swinney and Quality Meat Scotland chairman Jim McLaren, met yesterday to discuss the future of the site which employs 1,700 people, however no resolution was met.

In July this year, the site’s owners Vion UK issued a warning that the site, which has been heavily invested in over the past four years, may close as a result of “unsustainable losses” in the region of £79,000 a day.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren said: “Coupled with the Hall’s uncertainty a major issue of great concern to our pig producers is the rocketing price of feed, especially protein, due mainly to the drought in the USA.

“Although pig prices are not sitting at historic lows, they have failed to keep up with those of beef and lamb.”

The Scottish pig industry was experiencing a period of great uncertainty, but it had repeatedly shown its resilience and there was a record consumer awareness of the industry’s commitment to high welfare standards, he added.

“Although pig prices are not sitting at historic lows, they have failed to keep up with those of beef and lamb.”
Jim McLaren, QMS chairman

“The Scottish pig industry continues to work very closely with Scotland’s leading animal charity, the Scottish SPCA and all of our pig farms already comply with the new European sow stall legislation due to come into force on 1 January, 2013.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The taskforce heard from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) and other advisers commissioned by the taskforce to explore opportunities to forward the business.

“The challenge now is to take forward work with the company to see if it can deliver a sustainable, viable business for the community and economy of Broxburn.”

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