One-to-Watch Award Winner 2019: ABP Food Group

ABP Food Group is an integrated agri-business employing 10,000 people across 51 sites in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Spain, France, Austria, Holland and Denmark. ABP NI is part of ABP UK’s beef division which has 14 sites. ABP’s Newry and Lurgan sites employ 650 people.

Background

ABP partners with c. 5,000 farm families in the supply of NI quality assured beef and lamb to leading retailers, food service providers and restaurants in the UK and further afield.

What ABP did

With 100% by-product recovery, ABP is the only UK & Ireland beef processor that derives this level of waste minimisation within its business. Its leadership in sustainability, built on a group-wide ethos, reaches beyond its factories, into farms and the community, to champion best practice in sustainable food production for the future viability of farming. By doing business responsibly across its supply chain, ABP’s progressive food production practices provide consumers with the assurance of products that are fairly, ethically and sustainably produced.

ABP Blade Farming is a revolutionary system utilising male progeny from the dairy herd to produce quality Angus beef. The farmer benefits from a controlled model that prioritises efficiency and carcass quality; reduces unnecessary costs and optimises performance. The outcome is consistent, sustainable beef, access to high value markets for the farmer and supply chain stability for ABP.

The ABP Angus Youth Challenge nurtures young talent for the sustainability of NI’s agri-food sector. The programme rewards successful teenagers with a hands-on journey of rearing calves; profiting from sale to ABP; whilst utilising ABP’s Blade Farming expertise and gaining vital employability skills along the way.

The NI Better Farm Beef Challenge is an innovative joint venture between ABP, CAFRE and the Farmers Journal that provides a route-map for sustainable suckler beef production by focusing on efficiencies within the farmgate. Whilst ABP’s R&D Farm is showcasing how better genetics can improve profitability and reduce the carbon footprint.

ABP is the only meat processor invited on the HSE Farm Safety Partnership as a result of its commitment to championing farm safety and an award-winning farm safety campaign. Its People agenda goes beyond compliance such as its award-winning anti-modern slavery campaign and holistic well-being interventions. Local community investment has supported over 50 charities, fund-raisers, schools, clubs and societies financially or in-kind in the past two years alone.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • CSR and Sustainability programmes have helped the company save £1.5 million in Northern Ireland since 2008
  • Since 2008, it has seen reduction in CO2 emissions of 37% and water usage by 58%, along with zero waste to landfill
  • Blade farming system protects farmers from price volatility in the sector
  • The NI Better Farm Beef Challenge is helping to secure local supply chain resilience and sustainability.
  • The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is increasing awareness of job opportunities in ABP and its supply chain and provides rewarding opportunities for ABP employee involvement.
  • Enhanced reputation in the marketplace
  • NI workforce and production has increased by 25%
  • A joint venture with Linden Foods is helping prospects for the business and local livestock sector in the face of international challenges.
  • Contributes £1.3 billion each year into rural economies
  • Programmes have significant sustainable and animal health benefits
  • Appointed the first UK Modern Slavery Prevention Officer

For more information, please email seamus.banim@abpfoodgroup.com