UK - A state of the art slaughterhouse and meat processing plant was opened by the UK’s Secretary for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson on Monday.
The £10 million processing plant, Pickstock Telford Ltd formally known as Pickstock Ashby Ltd, in Hortonwood, Telford was completed earlier this year and the investment was assisted b y a grant from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs.
Pickstock Telford is a family owned company which was originally formed in 2003 when it began operating an abattoir in Ashby de la Zouch, South Derbyshire, before opening in Telford in January 2014.
The plant has been built with animal welfare, staff health and welfare, food safety, sustainability and the environment in mind.
The plant has heat exchange systems running off the refrigeration system and air compressors, along with a full rain water harvesting system.
There are also future plans for the installation of an anaerobic digester. Actively recycling as much waste as possible, animal by-products are rendered and used for bio fuel, and all manure waste is utilised by local farmers.
The company’s main priority is that of animal welfare and traceability.
With this in mind, the lairage has been designed to replicate the animal’s natural environment.
All pens are bedded down on straw and shavings, and are well-ventilated, therefore producing natural light, creating a stress-free environment.
The race to the stunning area is also slightly raised and curved to ensure the animals are calm as they move through to slaughter.
Aside from the welfare of the animals, every last detail within the lairage has been designed to the highest standard to ensure staff safety.
The Pickstock family all have a farming heritage and because of this they have built a sustainable business by working and building relationships with farmer’s right across the UK.
They pride themselves in giving an excellent service with fair returns.
This farming family run business fully understands the needs of the British farmer and offers them many advantages over its competitors.
Animals can be brought direct to the facility in Telford or collected by Pickstock Telford’s transport at one of the collection centres that are located around the UK.
These both bring convenience and most importantly choice to their suppliers. Pickstock Telford is also able to offer an excellent service to farmers with the facility to detect common symptoms in cattle which helps the farmer to maintain a healthy herd.
The new plant also incorporates a new boning and packing plant which will allow a greater choice to its customers and will attract business from new markets, with a wider range of product cuts.
Pickstock Telford’s products are of the very best British quality. All products are produced and processed in a certified Grade A establishment audited by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). In addition to this Pickstock Telford is certified by Assured British Meat, the leading animal welfare standard in the United Kingdom and Europe, which enables the display of the Red Tractor logo on all of Pickstock Telford’s beef products.
Pickstock Telford has a capacity of 650 cattle a day and largely handles dairy cows for manufacturing and further processing. The company exports over 80 per cent of its production at present.
In officially opening the plant, Environment Secretary Mr Paterson praised the attention to animal welfare, food safety and traceability.
He said that the new plant answered the key points that are being demanded by importers for British products on the export market.
Greg Pickstock, Managing Director of Pickstock Telford commented, “It was an honour to have the secretary of state attend our official opening, we have worked very closely with Defra to bring this state of the art facility to where it is today and we would like to extend our thanks for their support.
“By making this investment it has brought the company to a new level and is now capable of supplying a whole range of customers from the local butcher’s shop to the largest retailer with UK Beef.
“These customers can buy with confidence knowing that we have designed the plant with the latest technology enabling us to produce a high standard product, excellent working conditions for our staff and ensuring our environ¬mental responsibilities are met reducing the usage of water, energy, packaging and minimising waste.”
He added: “Our success in the last 11 years has been built on developing lasting relationships with farmer’s right across the UK, providing them with a first class professional service.
“Our customer approach to trace¬ability, animal welfare and quality assurance is paramount and our expert team of staff are extremely passionate about what they do.”