State of the art abattoir

State-of-the art abattoir to be developed in the South
West

24 January 2011

Hundreds of farmers, independent producers, wholesalers and
customers in the retail and food sectors are to benefit with the
news that a £6.5 million state-of-the-art abattoir and meat
processing & packaging plant is to be created in the South
West.

Gloucestershire-based Ensors is set to close its two existing
premises in Cinderford’s Valley Road and move to a single site on
an industrial park in the town’s Forest Vale Road.

The expansion is being made possible by a £1.9 million grant
from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), financial
investment by the company and the sale of the land on which the
existing abattoir is sited. The acquisition and development of the
existing abattoir site has been identified as a priority for the
area’s regeneration by the Cinderford Regeneration Board and Forest
of Dean District Council.

The project, which is due for completion by the end of this
year, will provide new facilities for hundreds of farmers,
independent producers, wholesalers and customers in the food and
retail sectors locally, regionally and nationally. As well as
opening up new business markets, including an export division, and
creating around 20 new full-time jobs over the next three years,
the new plant will help the company reduce its environmental impact
through better energy use, increased water recovery and fewer food
miles. It will also give it the opportunity to modernise its
systems, to continue to improve animal welfare and to develop a
more efficient and flexible service.

As a multi species (cattle, sheep and pigs) abattoir, Ensors
processes around 76,000 livestock each year and is an ‘added-value’
processor of poultry and game. It is a leading slaughterer of
organically produced animals and rare breed animals in the South
West region. The company also manufactures bacon, sausages,
burgers, kebabs and other premium products. Customers include
prestigious stores and hotels in London, hospitality services at
major sporting venues and premiership football clubs and the
Highgrove Estate. The company supplies a range of products to
leading brands within the convenience retail market, such as Spar
and Nisa. It also supplies its own butcher’s shop in Cinderford.
Last month, it began to supply meat to award-winning premium
on-line supermarket Ocado which is to open a new distribution
centre in March to serve customers in the South West and Wales.

The expansion will mean Ensors can provide a service for farmers
selling meat direct and for regional and local farmer-owned
marketing initiatives as well as continuing to develop within the
convenience retail sector. It will also provide the South West with
its only facility for farmers selling sows for slaughter.

“We are delighted that the expansion is going ahead as it means
we can not only increase our capacity but offer more services for
existing as well as new customers,” said Steve Leyman, Managing
Director of Ensors.

“We are always looking for ways to ensure we give the very best
quality and most flexible services to our customers as well as
running a professional and efficient business. We know that
traceability of food is important for our customers and to
consumers and it’s important for us too. We are committed to
regional sourcing, adding value and the highest standards of
production and animal welfare standards. This expansion will mean
we can continue to build on that.

“The RDPE grant and the sale of our existing abattoir site will
mean we can invest in the business and the services we provide not
just for now but for the future too so that we can respond to
market pressures and opportunities as they arise and help our
customers to do that too.”

The expansion will see the company leave its two existing sites
in Valley Road – the abattoir and the packing/offices facility.
Following granting of planning consent by the Forest of Dean
District Council last year, a vacant industrial unit on the Forest
Vale Industrial Estate will be converted and extended to provide
the state-of-art meat processing, storage and packing facilities.
It will use a range of new technology and processes. As well as a
natural refrigeration system, a more environmentally friendly
air-conditioning unit and lighting system, the new plant will
include CCTV and a viewing platform for independent inspections.
The amount of CO2 produced will be cut by around 307 tonnes per
annum while a rainwater harvesting system will enable the company
to collect approximately 975,000 litres of rainwater to be re-used
for vehicle washing and toilet flushing.

Construction work on the development will start this month and
be completed by the end of the year. Equipment and staff from the
company’s existing abattoir and food packing facilities will be
transferred to the new site on completion of the conversion and
fitting out works.

The development is being welcomed by Andy Rumming, RDPE Manager
at the South West RDA, which with the Forestry Commission and
Natural England, delivers the RDPE South West.

“The livestock sector is very important for the South West as
it’s worth around £2 billion to the region at the farm gate so
that’s a significant contribution to the local economy. However,
producers continue to face a number of challenges, including
changes in the Common Agricultural Policy, globalisation, increased
competition, the growth of supermarkets, changing lifestyles,
animal health scares and increased regulation,” he said.

“This expansion will mean benefits for both Ensors, individual
producers and the South West region. The development of sow
slaughter facilities and contract slaughtering and packing
facilities offers new opportunities for livestock producers,
suppliers and farmers wishing to add value to their livestock. It
will also contribute to the region’s food and drink sector so it’s
very exciting.”

James Lloyd of Gloucestershire First and RDPE Project
Development Adviser said: “Ensor’s planned development in
Cinderford is impressive.”

“Having worked with the company for over a year now, I know how
important this project is for them, and how committed they are to
supporting agriculture, and the development of supply chains.

“It’s particularly rewarding that the new state-of-the-art
business will remain located within the Forest of Dean, supporting
employment, skills, and new enterprise opportunities across the
South West. Overall, this is a great example of the public and
private sectors working together to secure economic growth and
success.”

Ends

Note to editors

For further information or to arrange a photo or interview,
please contact Steve Leyman, Managing Director at Ensors, on 01594
829906 or 07770 997280 or email him at s.leyman@ensors-ltd.co.uk

News release prepared by Hilary Allison at the South West RDA on
07901 994103.

Ensors – The company has been based in
Cinderford for 76 years and currently employs 130 staff. Its
reputation for having some of the best training facilities in the
country was further enhanced in 2008 when it won the Workforce
Development award at Gloucestershire Media Business Awards. Its
work with Hartpury College saw a number of its employees achieving
their NVQ qualifications while based at the plant. It’s also well
known for its work in the local community.

RDPE – This project is part financed by the
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013: Europe
investing in rural areas. In England, the European Agricultural
Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013 is delivered through the Rural
Development Programme for England (RDPE). It is an important part
of the Common Agricultural Policy and helps create genuinely
sustainable farming, forestry and food sectors, whilst bringing
wider benefits for the economy, the environment and rural
communities. It is the European Union’s major investment route for
protecting and enhancing the environment while securing a range of
public benefits for society. Defra is the Managing Authority and is
delivered in the region by the South West RDA, Natural England and
the Forestry Commission.