It is a really positive move for the sector.
Pig and poultry feed manufacturing in the UK is reaching capacity and the industry is struggling to keep pace with the growing demands, said ABN, which is part of AB Agri.
It believes that now is the right time to invest in the future and plan for additional manufacturing capacity to grow the feed business, support its customers’ long-term ambitions and help meet industry needs.
ABN said the move represents a scale of investment never seen before within the UK compound animal feed industry.
“UK agriculture faces exciting opportunities ahead, to meet the demand for food from a growing population, not just domestically but globally too. This demand will drive the need for more protein products, from more productive animals and consequently drive even greater demand for animal feed,” said Simon Heath, managing director, AB Agri’s compound feed division.
“With an industry operating at near capacity, we are exploring all options to improve and expand our manufacturing capabilities to meet this demand, support our customers’ long-term ambitions for growth, and strengthen our own business too,” he added.
ABN has also invested heavily across its mill sites and transport fleet over recent years.
The new project is a key extension of that program, said the company. The business will continue to invest in its existing sites.
ABN is already the largest and most advanced animal feed compounder in the UK, currently operating 11 mills.
“The complexities of building a pioneering new mill can only be considered as a long-term project, and at this stage timings cannot be confirmed. We are looking at the viability of a number of sites in the East of England region. We will share our new location as soon as we are able to do so but what I can announce is that we are intending to build the UK’s biggest and most efficient compound animal feed mill. Not only that, the mill will deliver improved animal feed quality, improved reliability, efficiency and sustainability plus greater traceability.”
AB Agri’s chief executive officer, José Nobre, also commented on the planned build: “This project is transformational and will drive an exciting new future for ABN and the UK’s food and farming businesses. The investment underlines our commitment to investing in the future of agriculture and playing an important role in building our industry’s global reputation.”