Thompsons about to buy ruminant feed business from Moy Park: report

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide

Belfast-based feed firm, Thompsons, is to buy the ruminants side of McLarnon Feeds from poultry group Moy Park, according to media reports.

The Belfast Telegraph​ indicated negotiations between the two Northern Ireland based parties on the acquisition were at an advanced stage, and that the companies have already spoken to employees about the takeover.

Thompsons, which produces 850,000 tons of cattle, pig and poultry feed a year and accounts for about 40% of the agricultural feed market in Northern Ireland, would take on the dairy, beef and sheep feed activities of McLarnon’s operations.

The JBS owned Moy Park, the largest poultry meat producer in Northern Ireland and one of the 15 biggest food companies in the UK, would retain the poultry feed business.

The deal, which is said to be worth over £500k (USD$781k), could be finalized in the coming days, it was claimed.

A Moy Park spokesperson would not confirm or deny the deal. She told FeedNavigator: “In line with standard practice we do not comment on market speculation.”

Thompson’s already supplies Moy Park with broiler feeds from traditional to free range and organic.

Feed efficiency 

Declan Billington, CEO of Thompsons, sits on the Northern Ireland Agri-Food Strategy Board and has been charged with developing a sustainability roadmap for the NI agri-sector.

Last July, he told us the company was investing £2.5m in a new heat and energy plant and was planning to cut its CO2 emissions by 2,000 tons per year as a result.

Thompsons is regulated by an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) agreement – a deal it has struck with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The aim of the pact is to get businesses to agree to operate above the minimum required environmental standards in return for reduced bureaucratic burden on industry. 

Thompsons aims to encourage the NIEA to take a holistic and not a site specific view of what it does. “We believe R&D investments in animal feed nutrition and technical support will deliver greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in agriculture than the regulation of manufacturing facilities will achieve,”​ said Billington back then.

And the producer, he said, was not doing it alone: “By working with other parts of the feed supply chain on collaborative R&D, we aim to develop products that help animals achieve their true genetic potential, increase the output per animal and thus reduce carbon emissions per liter of milk or kilogram of meat produced.

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