A food manufacturing plant near Sanquhar welcomed a special visitor to mark the official opening of its upgraded facilities.

The Browns Food Group's plant in Kelloholm was visited by the Princess Royal to commemorate the official opening of the company's extension.

HRH The Princess Royal is Patron of the Scotch Chefs Club and visited the facility this week, recognising Browns Food Group's significant investment over the last three years in support of the Scottish pig sector.

Cumnock Chronicle:

At the event, the family-owned Browns Food Group revealed their vision to grow the business by creating an additional 135 jobs by 2030.

The extension, covering 50,000 square feet, is described by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) as "a critical step in developing the infrastructure necessary for value-added manufacturing capacity".

Cumnock Chronicle:

Wayne Godfrey, chief executive of the Browns Food Group, said: "We are honoured to have The Princess Royal visit our facility.

"The new extension will enable us to expand our product range under the Kilted Pork Company banner, further enhancing our offering of added value cooked meats, sausages, and fresh pork.

“As well as creating new jobs, our plans will provide a much shorter, greener supply chain. It is predicted to reduce our transport emissions by 70 per cent, or half a million miles a year, and focuses economic activity here, in Scotland.”

Cumnock Chronicle:

Kate Rowell, chair of QMS, echoed Mr Godfrey's sentiments, emphasising the importance of collaboration driving innovation and promoting Scottish pork brands.

"The Scottish pig sector is an integral element of the Scottish mixed farming system," she said.

"Protein production that produces organic sources of fertiliser is an important piece of our sustainability jigsaw.

"It’s fantastic to see Browns Food Group acknowledging the opportunities inherent within this sector and investing in its long-term future.”

Cumnock Chronicle:

During the visit, HRH heard about Browns Food Group's production of top-quality and 'added value' pork products at their Kelloholm production facility.

With Browns Food Group now owning the only major pig processing site in Scotland, the majority of independent pig farmers in Scotland supply direct to the company.