Sustainability is a key feature in the development of a new €40m ABP Food Group facility in the market town of Ellesmere in Shropshire, England.
The Larry Goodman-owned beef processor’s UK facility is the first beef processing facility in Europe to be certified a carbon-neutral building by the Carbon Neutral Company, a UK-based environmental impact service provider.
Dean Holroyd, ABP group sustainability director, said: “This marks a very significant and exciting milestone for ABP and shows a genuine commitment to our group sustainability objectives.
"The completed development now positions ABP at the very forefront of European beef production and ensures the continued production of quality beef for years to come under the very highest sustainability standards.”
ABP said its Ellesmere facility is now one of Europe’s most advanced, efficient, and sustainable beef processing operations.
The plant employs 727 people and receives cattle from more than 2,000 farmers, mainly from Shropshire and Cheshire, England, and from Powys in Wales.
ABP’s carbon neutral certification was achieved with the installation of a new combined heat and power unit.
This system runs on a mix of bio-fuel derived from used cooking oils by ABP’s sister company Olleco and oil from the refinement of recovered animal fats during processing at the site.
“This allows the facility to generate all of its own heating needs and up to 100% of its electricity,” said Mr Holroyd.
“Other sustainable initiatives include a zero waste to landfill policy, a drive towards zero water depletion and the use of recycled materials in the new build.”
The development also features an animal resting lairage designed by Temple Grandin, along with numerous innovative ABP features.
The design includes curved solid walls, baffled gate locks to cut down on noise, and uniform colour and lighting throughout.
Video imaging analysis has been introduced for improved carcass grading. It is an automated grading system where all carcasses are scanned and automatically graded.
The technology sees a 3D image of every carcass being taken and stored, providing valuable feedback to farmers, which will ultimately help them to improve the yield of future cattle.
ABP Ellesmere covers an area of 60,000 sq m, the equivalent of 15 football pitches. The site includes an abattoir, a deboning hall, and retail packing facilities.
Fresh beef products are supplied mainly to the UK retail trade. Product is also exported to France, Holland, Germany, and Italy.
In July, ABP announced plans to invest €50m redeveloping its facilities at Cahir, Co Tipperary. The upgrade has already created more than 150 jobs, with more expected.
The plant is one of the biggest employers in Tipperary, with 615 staff. It is thought the beef processor’s redevelopment will be worth over €1bn to the economy over the next five years.
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