High inflationary costs affect Carton Bros business

High inflationary costs, coupled with labour shortages across a range of important sectors, are having an major impact on the Carton Bros chicken processing plant in Shercock.

Shortages driven by the pandemic and its impact in the community have meant Carton Bros, which owns the Manor Farm brand, has had to immediately scale back on some of the more labour-intensive processing elements of the business.

The Anglo-Celt understands a large order of chickens destined for shop shelves were turned away by a major supermarket after they failed to be delivered on time. The issue arose in securing the necessary logistics, and it is understood that the local company is examining alternative systems that can be put in place to avoid the issue from reoccurring.

It comes as Ado Carton, chief executive of Carton Bros, announced he would resign his position last month. He will remain as CEO until the beginning of next year.

Mr Carton, a cousin of the firm's founders Vincent and Justin Carton, has served as CEO since 2019. During the Summer suppliers of poultry to Manor Farm voted ‘no confidence’ in him running the company. The vote was taken after more than 60,000 chickens were destroyed after tests identified that birds may have been reared using unauthorised antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs). The suppliers questioned the testing.

It's understood the current set of difficulties facing Carton Bros also includes a rise in the price of feed of 27%.

To mitigate against this unprecedented commodity inflation, the business has adapted by reducing volume and throughput at their Shercock facility, with over a 100,000 fewer birds now being processed per week.

The company is one of the region’s largest employers, with around 800 staff, and multiples more making a living elsewhere in the supply chain.