AHDB carcase classification subsidiary to move to private sector

AHDB is in advanced talks with private business HallMark Veterinary Compliance Services about taking over its commercial meat classification subsidiary

The levy body said the move was necessary to secure the long term future of independent classification services for farmers across Great Britain and was in response to a challenging business environment and the need to respond to new technology classification systems such as VIA.

AHDB believes that by moving the business, Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Limited (MLCSL), into the private sector with a company that has a strong track record of delivering independent services to the meat industry, it will open up opportunities for greater efficiencies and synergies. These would not be possible under the current public ownership model and secure the future of the business, which has a turnover of £4 million, it said.

After an exhaustive bidding process involving a large number of interested parties, AHDB has now moved to the final phase of negotiations with HallMark and it is hoped that a deal will be completed by the summer.

AHDB chief executive Jane King said: “MLCSL is facing an increasingly challenging business environment and we believe that this move will help secure its future.

“We believe that there will be synergies and efficiencies realised under commercial ownership that would just not be possible under the current public ownership model.

“These will be vital in securing the short term prospects of the business and freeing up investment for the future.

“In selecting the final bidder, the AHDB Board put a strong emphasis on HallMark’s track record of delivering independent services for Government and the meat industry as it is essential that farmers continue to have confidence in the classification services supplied by MLCSL in the future.”

full story – Pig World

Alistair Driver