Increased demand from home and overseas and the opening up of new export markets has led UK-based BOCM Pauls to invest over £1 million (€1.16m) in upgrading and expanding the manufacturing facilities at its Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk animal feed mill.
The Bury plant with a production capacity in excess of 40,000 tonnes is the largest speciality feed production unit of its kind in Europe and is the leading supplier of piglet creep and starter feeds within the EU.
“We are a rapidly growing and established force in this specialist market and have a high reputation for the quality of our baby piglet feeds at home and abroad,” says marketing manager John Cessford. (Right on picture)
“We are selling piglet feeds in 18 countries and are actively seeking further export opportunities. We are pleased to be recognised as the fastest growing feed supplier in this sector of European livestock production.”
Pig production in Europe is forecast to rise by 2% over the next 3-4 years, consolidating pig meat’s status as Europe’s favourite meat.
“While the market will grow by 2%, our historical and future sales growth profile is significantly higher than this level.”
Export demand increased
Export director Tony Suckling said that exports of speciality feeds had quadrupled over the past seven years with the majority of the current 40,000 tonnes production at Bury being accounted for by piglet creep and starter rations.
Increased sales and marketing activities, combined with favourable currency exchange rates had all helped to boost export demand.
“This is why we have made such a significant investment at our Bury St. Edmunds plant, improving and expanding its capabilities so that we can accommodate the rapidly growing export demand,” said Suckling.
Warehousing and packaging
Operations manager Ketill Lord (Left on top picture) said that a significant proportion of the capital investment had been spent on expansion of the warehousing facilities and the installation of the latest automated and integrated bag packing system which can pack the feed in either plastic or paper in 25 kg bags.
Extra staff had been recruited and trained to operate the dedicated creep feed production line which had its own batch mixers, presses and the latest computerised control system.
“The new bag packing installation incorporates eight separate packing bins. Filled bags are automatically shrink-wrapped in plastic and loaded on to pallets for direct transfer to the warehouse. Product labels are printed and applied to the bags automatically,” said Lord.
“The recruitment of extra staff has brought the total on site up to 45 persons and we work three eight hour shifts.
“The layout of the mill is designed to allow the rapid turnaround of bulk vehicles, either delivering raw materials or collecting finished products, an important factor as many of the drivers have to catch ferries back to Europe,” said Lord.
The Bury mill is one of 20 production units operated by the company across the UK, altogether producing in excess of 2 million tonnes of feed annually for all classes of farm livestock.