Moy Park Ltd.
Moy Park Ltd.
39 Seagoe Industrial Area
Telephone: +44 028 3835 2233
Fax: +44 028 3833 9390
Web site: http://www.moypark.com
Wholly Owned Subsidiary of OSI Group L.L.C.
Sales: £600 million ($1.02 billion) (2004)
NAIC: 112320 Broilers and Other Meat-Type Chicken Production; 311615 Poultry Processing; 424430 Dairy Products (Except Dried or Canned) Merchant Wholesalers
Moy Park Ltd. is one of Europe's leading suppliers of poultry, and the largest food processing company in Northern Ireland. The company, with headquarters in Craigavon, operates as a vertically integrated producer, with its own parent/hatchery facilities, as well as primary and value-added processing plants in Northern Ireland, England, and France. The company's chickens are supplied by a network of more than 450 farmers and, since its acquisition of GW Padley Poultry in 2004, its own poultry farm holdings. The company also conducts its own research and development both in new food preparations and in new packaging techniques and technologies. Moy Park employs more than 7,000 people and processes more than two million birds per week. In addition to whole and parted frozen and fresh chickens, the company produces its own line of poultry-based readymade and prepared foods under its own brand and under third-party and private label brands. Moy Park is a subsidiary of Chicago-based OSI Group LLC. The company is led by managing director Trevor Campbell. Following the Padley acquisition, Moy Park's sales are estimated to reach more than £600 million ($1.02 billion).
FARMING BUSINESS ORIGINS IN 1943
Moy Park originated as a small farming business in Moygashel, in Northern Ireland, in 1943. Through the 1950s, the farm branched out into several areas, including growing potatoes and producing milk and eggs. The appearance of the first supermarkets during this period provided an opportunity for the company to extend its business into a new area, that of the processing of frozen chickens.
Moygashel initially reserved its production for the local market. The company expanded in 1960 when it became the managing member of the Ulster Farmers Cooperative, which operated a processing facility in Moira. This expansion, coupled with the rise of the supermarket channel and the growing demand for frozen and prepared chicken products, led the company to establish a new subsidiary dedicated to its chicken production and processing operations. The new subsidiary, Moy Park Ltd., was formed in 1961.
Into the 1960s, the fast-growing supermarket groups in the United Kingdom had begun seeking producers capable of handling the large volumes their sales networks required. Moy Park, which took over the Moira processing facility, was able to meet this challenge, and by 1963 the company had begun shipping its poultry products in Great Britain proper. The continued growth of the supermarket sector encouraged Moy Park to invest in its own expansion. In 1966, the company stepped up its production by some 400 percent by opening a new factory in Moira.
The need for further investment in order to keep up with the fast-changing pace of the new large-scale distribution market led Moygashel to seek a larger partner. In 1968, the company agreed to be acquired by rising conglomerate Courtaulds. In this way, Moy Park was assured of continued capital for its expansion. By 1972, the company's production had increased more than ten times over its production levels just a decade earlier. Moy Park also made its first investments in developing vertically integrated operations, building a hatchery during the 1960s. The company added a second hatchery specifically for its broiler stock in 1973.
Until the mid-1970s, the company's business remained wholly focused on the production of whole frozen chicken. Yet the growing dominance of the supermarket sector also stimulated demand for value-added chicken products. With a new generation of processing equipment and machinery, the automated production of fresh, parted chicken allowed Moy Park, among other poultry producers, to expand its product line. The company expanded its Moira facilities to include fresh chicken and chicken parts processing into the middle of the decade. Yet the company's most significant launch into the emerging prepared foods market came in 1975, with the opening of a new state-of-the-art processing facility in Coolhill in 1975. The opening of this facility was further significant for the company, as it was the first in Northern Ireland to be granted an export license for the European market. That license set the stage for Moy Park's development into one of the region's leading poultry suppliers.
England remained the company's largest market, and Moy Park moved to increase its presence there. In 1980, the company acquired its first factory in England, through the purchase of Kew House Farm. Soon after, the company found a new managing director in Trefor Campbell, who had joined Moygashel in 1960 before working for Moy Park. Appointed in 1983, Campbell soon found himself leading a management buyout (MBO) of Moy Park, after Courtaulds began streamlining its operations in the early 1980s. The MBO was completed in 1984, and Moy Park became an independent company for the first time.
Moy Park now launched a new growth phase, backed by a move into a new and expanded headquarters and production facility in Craigavon soon after the buyout. Over the next several years, Moy Park made a series of investments in expanding its new production facilities. This expansion was made in large part to support the company's entry into new product areas—the production of prepared meals and convenience foods. Moy Park built up its own research and development operations in order to create new food recipes and production technologies. By the end of the 1980s, the company had launched a number of prepared foods lines, including widely popular chicken burgers, as well as marinated chicken products, and prepared recipes, such as Chicken Tikka flavored parts, stuffed chickens, and, in 1991, the company's Self-Basting Chicken. The company's continued expansion of its production capacity led to a full-scale refurbishing of the Craigavon site that year.
EUROPEAN LEADER IN 2000
Moy Park retained its strong growth momentum into the 1990s. The company took its first step beyond the United Kingdom in 1991 when it formed a poultry production joint venture with Bourgoin, then France's leading poultry producer. As part of that joint venture, held at 70 percent by Moy Park, the company opened a production site at Hénin-Beaumont, in the Pas-de-Calais area, and began producing processed chicken products for the French market.
Welcome to Moy Park Limited. Based at Craigavon, Northern Ireland, and with further sites in Northern Ireland, England and France, Moy Park supplies own label and customer branded chicken products to leading retail and foodservice customers across Europe. Moy Park are Quality Food Winners, gaining a Q Award at the annual Quality Food and Drink Awards as well as being a Gold Medal winner in 'The Grocer' magazine's prestigious Gold Awards. Moy Park has a positive impact on the local community as recognised through Business in The Community's PerCent standard.
Into the mid-1990s, Moy Park's expansion continued. The company formed a new chicken processing joint venture with England's Ferne Foods in 1994. Moy Park also expanded its vertically integrated operations, building a new parent stock hatchery in Carn, which also became the site for a new cold-storage facility. The company also moved its sales and marketing operations closer to its primary customers, the British supermarket sector, opening a new office in Crewe.
By the mid-1990s, however, Moy Park found itself under pressure from an increasingly globalized poultry industry, especially with the ambitious growth of Brazil as one of the world's major chicken producers. Moy Park was forced to look for a larger partner, and in 1996 the company agreed to be acquired by OSI Group, a leading meat, poultry, and foods group based in Chicago, Illinois.
The backing of OSI enabled Moy Park to continue investing in its expansion. A major step forward came with the launch of construction of a £13 million production facility at Dungannon in 1996. Completed in 1999, the new factory boasted a processing capacity of more than 500,000 chickens per week, boosting the group's total processing capacity to more than one million.
Moy Park also stepped up its presence in France in the second half of the 1990s. The company acquired a second processing facility, formerly operated as Cuisine de Licques, in Marquise, near Dunkirk, in 1997. The following year, it bought out its joint venture partner Bourgoin (which soon after went bankrupt). Moy Park, too, was feeling the pinch of a difficult economic market, and by 1999, the company had slipped into losses.
Backed by OSI, however, Moy Park continued investing in expansion. In 2000, for example, the company earmarked some £14 million to expand its three facilities in Moira, Dungannon, and Craigavon in order to step up production of value-added products, such as breaded and roasted chicken and processed fresh chicken. Also in 2000, Moy Park acquired full control of the Ferne Foods joint venture. To Farming Life, Trefor Campbell described the group's investment program as "part of an ongoing strategy to maintain our overall competitiveness as a high service level and low cost producer for key customers. This is essential because we are operating in an intensely competitive marketplace and have to contend with the continuing difficulty of high Sterling rates. The winners in our markets will be those who can match a competitive strategy with the right investment decisions and a well-trained, motivated team."
The company drive to boost its value-added product range included an interest in developing new packaging and preparation methods. In 1999, for example, the company introduced a new microwaveable chicken. The packaging for the new product featured built-in browning devices and fat absorbing pads, and boasted the ability to cook a whole chicken in just 27 minutes. Another Moy Park innovation was debuted in 2003, with the launch of a microwaveable tub containing flavored chicken wings and strips.
- Moygashel is founded as a small farming business.
- The business acquires Ulster Farmers Cooperative and its processing facility in Moira.
- Moy Park is incorporated as a poultry products subsidiary.
- The company begins supplying the U.K. supermarket sector.
- Courtaulds acquires Moygashel and begins expansion of Moy Park's production.
- Moy Park opens a second broiler chicken stock breeding hatchery.
- Kew House Farm in England is acquired.
- MBO is led by managing director Trefor Campbell, who acquires Moy Park from Courtaulds; Moy Park moves to a new headquarters and production facility in Craigavon.
- Moy Park forms a joint venture with Bourgoin of France.
- The Ferne Foods joint venture is formed in England.
- OSI acquires Moy Park.
- A second plant is acquired in Marquise, France.
- The company acquires full control of the joint venture in France.
- A new production plant is opened in Dungannon.
- The company acquires full control of the Ferne Foods joint venture.
- GW Padley Poultrey and Dove Valley are acquired.
- The company announces a £40 million investment program.
By the mid-2000s, Moy Park's difficulties were behind the company and it looked forward to further expansion. The company took a major step in 2004, when OSI acquired two British poultry companies. The first, GW Padley Poultry, was one of the United Kingdom's largest producers, with its own chicken farms, as well as processing plants in Grantham, Wisbech, Anwick, and Bury St. Edmunds. The addition of Padley helped to double Moy Park's total production capacity, boosting sales to more than £600 million ($1.02 billion). Soon after, OSI added a second U.K. poultry acquisition, that of Dove Valley, based in Ashbourne, which primarily supplied whole chicken and chicken portions, but also had begun to market its own cooked chicken products. Both acquisitions were placed as subsidiaries under Moy Park.
The acquisitions helped secure Moy Park's position among the leaders in the European poultry market, while also transforming the company into Northern Ireland's largest processed foods group. Moy Park showed no signs of slowing down, and in 2005 the company announced that it was launching a new, £40 million investment program in order to expand its production capacity.
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"Chicago Giants Feather the Nest," Grocer, May 15, 2004, p. 61.
"Good News for the British Chicken Business," Belfast Telegraph, May 10, 2004.
"Innovation on the Menu," Belfast Telegraph, April 21, 2004.
"Microwave Pecking Order Takes in Chicken," Packaging Magazine, December 2, 1999, p. 13.
"Microwaveable Chicken Introduced by Moy Park," Grocer, October 16, 1999, p. 21.
"Moy Park Ready for Demands of Future," News Letter, January 5, 2002, p. 34.
Sutton, Neil, "Ruffling Feathers," Grocer, October 9, 2004, p. 46.
"Uncertainty Looms Over Dark Meat Imports," Farmers Guardian, June 24, 2005, p. 18.