‘It felt like the right time’ – Family-run Suffolk slaughterhouse sold to German food giants
A Suffolk slaughterhouse has been taken over by German food giants Tönnies Group after 25 year of family ownership.
C&K Meats, based in Eye, was sold for an undisclosed sum last week.
The award-winning firm was established in 1994 by brothers Kevin and Chris Burrows - as they followed a family butchery tradition which stretches back for more than 200 years.
And while the move is predicted to bring more opportunities for the firm to expand and provide greater job security for its workforce it will take some getting used to for the family.
"From our point of view it is a bit strange," admitted. "But we needed to put investment back into the company to move it forward.
"We have been in discussion with Tönnies for a number of years and now felt like the right time.
"It's great for the future of the company, it secures its future and it gives security for all the jobs and to all our suppliers."
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Mr Burrows said the family would still be heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business under the new ownership.
He added: "It still feels a little bit weird for us but I am excited about the opportunities it creates for the future."
The company employs more than 160 people and specialises in beef, pork and lamb from local farmers.
In 2017, the firm was presented the Queen's Award for Enterprise after increasing its exports by 325% in three years.
The takeover is the latest move by Tönnies to expand into the UK and follows the acquisition of family-owned sausage manufactures Riverway Foods in Essex at the end of last year.
Carsten Jakobsen, chairman of Tönnies' UK business, added: "In the last few years, we have been establishing ourselves in the British market and we will continue to do so.
"With C&K Meats we have found an excellent partner who has the potential to grow.
"We want to continue our policy of vertical integration in the UK and C&K Meats will enable us to achieve further growth."