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Proposed new £75m pork plant could provide outlet for culls sows in NI

7th May 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Plans have been submitted for a new specialist £75m cull sow pork processing plant in Northern Ireland.

Planning proposals have been submitted by Bannside Foods to Causeway Coast and Glens Council, with a 12-week public consultation on the plans underway.

The proposed site is the former home of the Lovell and Christmas bacon factory, which burned down in 1998, accordign to the BBC. 

There is no dedicated facility for cull sows in Northern Ireland, with farmers currently having to send them to Britain, the Republic of Ireland or into Europe.

Johann Muldoon, the architect behind the project, said it was an 'ambitious plan' that could create 350 to 400 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs.

"It will future proof an industry that has been hard hit in the last number of years plus any new jobs should be welcomed," she told the BBC.

"One of the key concerns with Brexit was the access to migrant labour - this plant will see changes to the nature of that and will link in to apprenticeships and training in the tech side of business, but there will be the other side of things that are less tech savvy."

Glenn Cuddy, the chair of the Ulster Farmer's Union Pork and Bacon Committee, said having a local processor will make things easier for him. "It'll mean more competition in the market for pigs," said Mr Cuddy, who keeps 300 sows at his farm in County Tyrone.