Sir, as the manager of Omega Proteins in Penrith, I would like to respond to your article published on March 4, under the headline “Penrith ‘pong’ campaign gets ‘fresh’”.
I was a little surprised that your publication did not come to me for a response to the accusations made by Jeff Thomson. Since moving to Penrith only last year, he has taken it upon himself to continually attack us. It appears Mr Thomson, whom I believe is a former journalist and market trader, has now become a leading expert in the animal rendering industry, believing he is justly qualified to comment on our business.
Over the last 12 months we have attempted to engage with Mr Thomson, all to no avail. In fact, on one occasion I even went to visit him at his home to invite him to visit the plant. He flatly refused. He has also been invited to our liaison groups – attended by local councillors and members of the public, but again has turned these down.
At our recent community engagement event, which was open to the public, he simply sat outside. Had he not done so, he would have learned that the fuel used to power the new thermal oxidiser is a green fuel which is helping us reduce our carbon footprint and running costs.
Since taking over the Wildriggs Plant in 2002, owners Leo Group have invested in excess of £50 million in it, helping it become cleaner and greener and making it one of the most modern facilities of its kind in the whole of Europe.
Our products are exported all over the world, we employ a local workforce and, wherever possible, we use local subcontractors. Our contribution to the local economy, and in fact to the UK agricultural business, is immense. With this in mind, I would therefore ask you what contribution does Mr Thomson actually make to Penrith and just who does he represent?
Manager, Omega Proteins