Charlotte Hudson, farm manager from Kent, reports on Moy Park, visited by the Cereals Development Programme on the 10th January.
The first CDP visit of 2019 was a cracker, with an amazing visit to Moy Park and the various elements in their supply chain. Considering the scale on which the business operates, the standards were astounding and it is a credit to everyone who plays a role in the process.
With Christmas and New Year seeming like a distance memory, I was looking forward to the next instalment of the CDP. This week we made the journey to Moy Park, Grantham, for a supply chain visit.
The day started at Navenby Feed Mill, where we were introduced to Graham Porter, Steve Urwin and the rest of the team at Porters. After a brief overview of the history of the business, we split into groups and were given a tour around the mill itself by Graham, Steve, Harry Smith and Gareth Birgo. The mill was immaculate; it was noticeable that in what you could assume to be a dusty environment, there wasn’t a cobweb in sight. We saw the milling process from start to finish and it seemed almost as if as fast as grain was coming in, it was being loaded back out as feed pellets. It was certainly interesting to get a better idea what happens to our crops once they leave the farm.
After some of us enjoyed a sneaky cup of tea, it was time to convoy to the next site, this was Kettlethorpe Farm. Here up to 600,000 birds are kept in 10 houses, all managed by only 5 members of staff including farm manager Tony Plaskitt and assistant manager Ryan Barrett. Once again, the high level of cleanliness was extremely apparent. After getting suited and booted, we split into two groups, which allowed us the chance to enter into one of the chicken houses. The strict biosecurity rules meant there was a somewhat complicated process to follow before entering the house. The four phase routine started with an initial dipping of our wellington boots. We then entered the atrium of the house which was also the control room; from here the entire building could be controlled and monitored by the computer system, altering variables such as ventilation, temperature and CO2. The next step in the process was to put on a pair of outer boot liners whilst stepping over into a bunded area. Hand washing and sanitising was next, followed by a second pair of outer boots once again as you stepped in to the third bunded area. Finally we were allowed in!
The last part of the day took us to the Moy Park factory at Anwick. Here we were introduced to a number of staff that would be taking us on a tour around the factory. Magda showed me, Thomas, Jamie and James around and it was very clear from the offset how passionate and hardworking she was. This was echoed throughout the all the employees including Nick Burgess and Simon Pattison who also showed some groups round. Thousands of chickens were whizzing around on lines above our heads and the 13 packing lines, run by over 600 staff, were all busy producing different products for multiple customers. The factory was also home to 4 robots, responsible for selecting breast meat and weighing it in to numerous trays, watching the speed at which they worked was mesmerising. It was eye opening to see how the food we all eat was produced and once again the high level of hygiene did not go unnoticed.
Finally I would just like to say a big thank you to all the staff within the Moy Park company, which were all extremely accommodating, knowledgeable and passionate about the business and the food that they produce.