UK – Pilgrim’s UK, a subsidiary of US-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, has announced the acquisition of lamb processor Randall Parker Foods (RPF) as it continues to expand across the animal protein sector.  

RPF has two manufacturing facilities – an abattoir in Powys processing up to 20,000 lambs a week and a retail packing plant in Andover. 

Following the acquisition, the two facilities employing over 350 employees, would form part of its Dalehead Foods division, Pilgrim’s UK said.  

Jim Gaffney, managing director of RPF, will continue to oversee operations at the two sites.

He said: “I am delighted for the employees, customers and suppliers of RPF who have worked so hard to establish the company’s reputation as the preeminent specialist lamb processor in the UK.  

“The future as part of Dalehead Foods looks both secure and exciting. I look forward to working with new colleagues and our customers to achieve our common goals.’” 

The current acquisition follows Pilgrim’s Pride’s recent acquisition of  Kerry Group’s consumer meats and meals business in the UK and Ireland.  

It also follows Pilgrim’s Pride earlier acquisitions which included pork processor Tulip in 2019 and poultry giant Moy Park in 2017.  

Dalehead Foods, whose capacity will be greatly expanded with the recent acquisition, has supplied customers with lamb for more than 40 years and has worked with RPF for almost 30 years.  

The UK is the world’s fifth-largest producer and third-largest exporter of lamb and mutton and the acquisition would help Pilgrim’s UK capitalise on the popularity of British lamb with export customers, it claimed.  

“Randall Parker Foods has a strong reputation as a processor of quality lamb and having worked with Dalehead Foods for almost 30 of the 40 years we have been producing lamb products this acquisition is a natural fit for both organisations,” said Andrew Cracknell, chief executive officer at Pilgrim’s UK.  

“It will bring our lamb operations closer together into a single integrated supply chain which will benefit team members and customers alike, securing jobs, investment and growth for a sustainable future.” 

Pilgrim’s UK recently announced revenue growth in 2020 in its latest annual report and accounts, helping the business move to profit after several consecutive years of losses. 

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