Meat processor Cranswick has acquired a UK-based premium pig farming business as it looks to increase its “self-sufficiency” and boost traceability in its supply chain.
The company has acquired farming and rearing business, Packington Pork, from the Mercer Family, following a fourteen-year relationship with the business.
Under the deal, for an undisclosed amount, the Mercer family will retain its free-range poultry operations as a standalone business under the Pockington name.
Adam Couch, CEO of Cranswick, said the deal “strengthens our existing farming operations” and “reinforces our commitment to supporting and growing the British pig farming industry”.
He added: “It also aligns to our strategy of enhanced transparency and provenance of our food from farm to fork.”
The deal comes amid rising global demand for pork and the ongoing African swine fever crisis and sees Cranswick gain more control over its domestic supply.
“Cranswick, which accounts for more than half of the UK’s exports of pig meat, has been able to capitalise on growing demand from China, which has seen domestic production decimated by the African swine fever outbreak,” says Dean Best, Food Editor at GlobalData.
“However, even though Cranswick processes one third of all pigs in the UK, the company – until today’s deal for Packington Pork – only had direct control over around a fifth of its supplies. This acquisition takes that level to more than 25%.
“The African swine fever outbreak has the potential to reshape global pork supplies as well as severely affect Chinese production. It has also affected other parts of Asia and even some countries in Europe. Therefore, there could be upward pressure on global pig prices. Adding another supplier to Cranswick’s portfolio could help mitigate some of that pressure.
“That said, in the round, today’s move for Packington – an existing supplier – is more about Cranswick’s ongoing ambitions to have more control over its supply chain to meet UK retailer demands for security of suppliers, rather than reacting to the impact of African swine fever.”