New animal feed mill planned for Bury St Edmunds

Steam pipes out of chimneys at the British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds.

The British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds where a new animal feed mill is planned - Credit: Su Anderson

A new animal feed mill planned for a  Suffolk sugar factory will bring jobs and an economic boost to the area, the firm behind it says.

ABN, Britain's largest manufacturer of pig and poultry feed,  says it is looking to build a new state-of-the-art mill at the British Sugar factory at Bury St Edmunds which will "transform" the UK compounds animal feed industry.

British Sugar and ABN - which is part of AB Agri - are owned by multinational giant Associated British Foods (ABF) which operates five arms -grocery, sugar, grocery, ingredients and retail - including Primark.

ABN has earmarked a plot of land at the factory site which it hopes to turn into a feed factory.

Once approved, the new investment would represent a "boost" to the local economy, bringing direct and indirect employment opportunities to the region, including in the construction stages and when in operation

Chicken and pig consumption is expected to grow as the UK population rises, and ABN says the new plant will help the UK keep pace with demand.

ABN's Danny Johnson

ABN general manager Danny Johnson - Credit: Simon Dewhurst Photography Ltd

ABN general manager Danny Johnson said: “UK agriculture faces exciting opportunities ahead, to meet the demand for food from a growing UK population. This new mill will help to address the demand for more British animal feed for our industry customers."

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AB Agri, ABN’s parent company and British Sugar have had "positive" pre-application talks with West Suffolk Council and expect to submit a full planning application in 2022.

José Nobre, chief executive of AB Agri said: “We are intending to build the UK’s most efficient compound animal feed mill. Not only that, but the mill will also deliver improved animal feed quality, improved reliability, plus greater traceability.”

The East of England is seen as a strategically important region with pig and poultry producers making the site well placed.

ABN said the mill would ultimately replace an existing plant in the town, while expanding capacity and jobs.