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Cranswick outlines input inflation strategy and plan to double poultry output

a broiler chicken

CRANSWICK has plans in place to manage inflationary input costs and is well-placed for expansion, according to new analysis from investment firm Panmure Gordon consumer analyst Matthew Webb.

At a recent investors’ day, Mr Webb said the firm had taken the opportunity to reassure on its ability to weather the current surge in input costs.

See also: European poultrymeat market tightens under exceptional pressure

And in an upbeat assessment of the firm’s prospects, he said Cranswick was well-placed for growth in the poultry category, although some opportunities for automation remained.

It is passing on rising input costs to customers, Mr Webb said, and had hedged 2-3 years forward on utility costs, and was therefore protected against recent surges in gas and electricity costs.

Expansion

Cranswick’s poultry processing plant in Eye, Suffolk, is the first of its kind to be built in the UK in 30 years.

Now fully operational, it has a capacity of 1.4 million birds a week, giving it a 7% market share,

Some 85% of the output from Eye goes to supermarket Morrison’s, with the remainder serving other parts of the business.

At an investors’ day, Mr Webb noted the high level of automation at the plant.

All offal is captured and used, individual birds are scanned and directed to best use, and individual pieces of meat are automatically sorted to product packs just 1%-2% over minimum weight.

Huge ambitions

But automation opportunities remain, particularly at parts of the plant where meat was being moved manually.

Cranswick has ‘huge ambitions’ in poultry, Mr Webb said, who expects the company to continue taking market share.

The firm is acquiring land to expand Eye, but did not offer a likely timeframe for works to begin. Once commissioned, the planned expansion would double capacity.

A new prepared poultry factory in Hull is set to open this month, and will be supplied from Eye.

The full report is available from Panmure Gordon.