Watton pork producer Cranswick to capture US market

06:30 27 November 2012

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton - On the production line. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton - On the production line. Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A Norfolk pork supplier hopes to capture a slice of the American market by securing an export licence for its base in Watton.

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton - On the production line. Picture; Matthew Usher.Cranswick Country Foods in Watton - On the production line. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Cranswick Country Foods wants to apply for a United States Department of Agriculture accreditation, giving it the green light to sell premium Norfolk pork to the US.

It comes months after the former farming minister Jim Paice helped the company secure an export deal with China.

In its interim results released yesterday, the group said the relative price of pork to other meats had helped it to grow its half year underlying turnover 5pc ahead of last year, in the six months to September 30.

It saw total sales 6pc ahead in the same period, helped by the performance of its newly acquired Milton-Keynes-based premium cooked and roast meat producer Kingston Foods.

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton. Picture; Matthew Usher.Cranswick Country Foods in Watton. Picture; Matthew Usher.

But the pork producer, which sells bacon and sausages to supermarkets Sainsburys and Tesco, is currently in talks with its customers about increasing prices after seeing the cost of UK pigs soar.

Speaking about its base in Watton, Cranswick chief executive Adam Couch said: “We have invested significantly at our factory in Norfolk and we want to keep the facility as long as the supply chain is there.

“We would like to acquire a USDA licence so our pork cuts can go to America. We are considering that investment as a real option going forward.”

Mr Couch said that the rise in prices for retailers had come as a knock-on effect from the higher cost of animal feed.

He added: “What is really important in times such as these is that everyone in the supply chain takes some responsibility.

“We have to make sure that we fight our corner against some of the EU volume players, while keeping an eye on the EU pig welfare reforms coming in 2013.”

The group, which has a factory in Hull and supplies to the Jamie Oliver brand, currently employs 1,100 staff and recently invested £12.7m in a new processing plant, innovative meat-processing equipment and environmental equipment.

This year, the company won the Food and Farming excellence award at the EDP Business Awards 2012, beating finalists Aylsham-based Dewing Grain, and Sands Agricultural Machinery of Stalham.



Show Job Lists


Employers in East Anglia are paying staff more and looking at benefits packages in a bid to attract and retain staff.
Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

If you excel at your job then now might be the time to speak to your boss about a pay rise or equally look for an upgrade in your benefits package.

                                 Managing Director of Bakers and Larners of Holt, Michael Baker, pictured at the Holt department store.


Family businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, but can often be weighed down by tradition. Now a report seeks to champion the region’s oldest family firms. Business writer SABAH MEDDINGS reports.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor


Sabah Meddings

Business Writer


Kate Royall

Business Writer


Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up