BALLYBAY’S SILVERCREST SOLD TO KEPAK – ABP SAYS MOVE WILL “DRAW A LINE” UNDER HORSEMEAT CONTROVERSY

26 April 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Silvercrest meat processing facility at Ballybay which found itself at the centre of the horsemeat controversy earlier this year is to be sold by the ABP Food Group to the Kepak Group, subject to approval by the Competition Authority.

The deal agreed between the two leading food processing companies was announced by ABP Chief Executive Paul Finnerty last week, who said it would “draw a line” under the recent controversy. The terms of the transaction are confidential.

The sale involves the transfer of the 122 staff currently employed at Silvercrest, who were kept on full pay over the past three months while the future of the plant was being resolved.
Kepak said the acquisition of the Ballybay plant would “fit in well” with its burger and convenience food strategy.

Manager Director John Horgan said he was looking forward to working with the staff of the Silvercrest facility.

It was intended to return the facility to full production in the months to come, Mr Horgan added.
Tests carried out by the Irish Food Safety Authority in December last and made known in January showed that a frozen burger product from the Ballybay plant contained 29% horsemeat content.

Production at the plant was suspended as the horsemeat controversy broadened into a full-blown crisis for the Irish industry and spread to other British and European processors as more evidence of beef products being tainted by horsemeat …

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