Farm to fork
Cranswick plc are a leading producer of premium, fresh and added-value food products including fresh pork and chicken, cooked and prepared meats and British charcuterie. They are one of the UK’s largest pig producers and a leader in best practice in the pig and poultry industry.

The company’s roots stem back to the early ’70s when a group of farmers came together to produce quality pig feed, inspired by the simple ethos – put quality in and you’ll get quality out. This idea is one that continues to resonate across Cranswick today.

Subsequently diversifying into food production, the company has developed through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, enabling Cranswick to build upon their philosophy of working with artisan producers to provide premium, market leading products.

Led from their company headquarters in Hull, Cranswick now serve their customers from fourteen state-of-the-art production facilities across the UK and are rapidly developing their export business serving the European, US and South East Asian markets.

At their heart, Cranswick remain an agricultural business, deeply connected to the British food and farming industry. Whilst founded on expertise the company are also entrepreneurs, seeking out opportunities encouraged by a culture that allows great commercial ideas to flourish. It is through this combination of innovation, industry insight and a pioneering approach to product development, alongside an obsession with producing quality, authentic food, that Cranswick continues to be a driving force in the British food industry.

Welfare and green thinking
The company recognise that the welfare of farm animals is a fundamental part of the business, with a strong commitment to the health and well-being of the animals they rear, breed and source embedded and maintained across their own operations and throughout their UK and global supply chains. A dedicated Agriculture & Welfare Supply Team works closely with both customers & suppliers and runs producer groups that look at all aspects of animal welfare throughout the pig and poultry production chains. This commitment to upholding high farm welfare standards has resulted in the business achieving and retaining the Business Benchmark Farm Animal Welfare’s tier 1 status since 2016.

Cranswick are equally committed to minimising their environmental impacts. In 2018 they launched their Second Nature initiative which puts sustainability at the heart of the business and includes the key pledge to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2030.

Projects and innovation
Representatives from Cranswick attend meetings, presentations and conferences across the UK and Europe, enabling the company to keep up to date with the latest academic research, innovative ideas and threats to the industry. Active involvement in the CIEL network includes regular participation in CIEL’s Research & Development Committee (RDC) meetings, most recently offering an insightful and thought-provoking presentation on the challenges facing modern pig production.

The company is working on numerous projects looking at rearing systems, breed development, welfare, sustainability, traceability, environment, & ethical standards, and, with support from CIEL, are in the midst of exploring transformational opportunities to answer the latest call from Innovate UK to help ‘transform food production’.

CIEL and Cranswick
Stuart Blyth, Head of Business Development at CIEL, and Kasi McReddie, Agri-Tech Researcher, are working with Cranswick on identifying technologies and funding opportunities which can continue to support the next stage in technology development for the business whilst continuing to address the challenges in reducing carbon footprint.

Cranswick has been with CIEL since joining as one of the original members in 2016 and continue to be a very active participant in RDC events and collaborations, advocating for research to continually develop the welfare and sustainability of the pig and poultry sectors. They are an exciting and innovative business to work with and I look forward to being able to exploit the capabilities of our investments such as the new centre for pig innovation in Leeds to continue to support their work.  

Stuart Blyth, Head of Business Development, CIEL

Having been involved with CIEL since its inception, it has been great to see the progress being made. With R&D being such a key element of ensuring the longevity of the pig industry, the links CIEL is creating, from farmers through to academia, is key to ensure we are targeting the right areas for future development. It’s great to see the level of investment being put into the pig innovation facility at Leeds and can’t wait to see how this will benefit the whole industry.

Richard Riley, Agriculture Manager, Cranswick