A spokesperson for the Dutch compound feed group said it has begun the consultation process with which it “will continue to support all affected employees throughout” the process.
ForFarmers UK operates 15 manufacturing sites, both production and blending mills. The company said the move was in line with its previously announced objective to optimize its supply chain in the UK, both in terms of modernizing existing mills and in its footprint of site locations.
In terms of when that streamlining effort will be finalized, the spokesperson for ForFarmers told this publication:
“In 2017, we announced the intention to reduce costs by GBP £5m (US$6.4m) in the UK by 2020. We have also announced that the challenge we faced in the summer of 2017 to improve our service reliability, following a disruption due to a shortage of drivers in the market, has led to some delay of the plan … we are constantly working to increase efficiency and reduce cost."
The company said that the feed volume currently manufactured by the Blandford mill will be transferred to its facilities in Exeter and Portbury. The Blandford site, one of the older ForFarmers UK sites, would require significant modifications to modernize it and improve its efficiency, it explained.
The current Blandford volume comprises conventional compound feed and organic feed. The conventional feed volume will go to the newly constructed Exeter mill and the organic feed volume will shift to Portbury, which ForFarmers said has recently been equipped with additional raw material storage bins to support the production of organic feed.
A dedicated project team has been deployed to ensure a seamless transfer, it added. In parallel with this relocation, ForFarmers UK said it is enhancing its delivery vehicle fleet to ensure that optimal quality of customer service can be maintained.
Contingency plan in case of no deal Brexit
In terms of whether Brexit is creating any uncertainty for ForFarmers’ operations in the UK, the company representative said:
“Our business activities are predominantly local for local. In order to ensure continuity of supplies to our customers, in case of a no deal Brexit, we have a contingency plan in place for raw material sourcing.”
Given the low self-sufficiency rate of the UK pig industry, ForFarmers believes that Brexit could bring opportunities for expansion in the UK pig herd, she added.