Farming News - NCB local abattoir survey highlights importance of sector & challenges it faces

NCB local abattoir survey highlights importance of sector & challenges it faces



National Craft Butchers

National Craft Butchers surveyed Small and Local Abattoirs throughout England, Scotland, and Wales in March to May this year. As founding members of the Campaign for Local Abattoirs and the Abattoir Sector Group we have been working on options to ensure the survival of Local abattoirs throughout the UK. The results of our survey have only reinforced the urgency of support for a successful network of small and local abattoirs throughout the UK.

Of the abattoirs surveyed 70% of owners are aged over 51, with 11% over the age of 66.

59% expect to close the business within the next 5 years if action is not taken.

56% do not have a succession plan or someone to take over the business.

Increases in one size fits all regulation, loss of income through hides and skins and lack of education on the meat industry as a skilled and attractive career choice is leading to a cliff edge in terms of skilled food business operators.

All the respondents are offering private kill and cutting and packing services. Without these, many small and rare breed farmers will be unable to get produce to their customers.

The local and small abattoirs are multi species abattoirs able to provide a kill service for multiple species for the same customer. 82% slaughter Cattle, Pigs, Lamb and Sheep, with 53% slaughtering Horned Cattle, 41% slaughtering OTM and 24% slaughtering game.

They are also local businesses providing valuable skilled careers for their employees, on average they provide 4 jobs for community per abattoir.

We need the government to acknowledge the important role of small abattoirs, to ensure urgent regulatory reviews by DEFRA and FSA are prioritised, to invest in the sector and safeguard it for the future. We believe this should include schemes to attract new generations into the Abattoir sector and meat industry as a whole, but we also need to ensure small businesses are not regulated out of existence.

National Craft Butchers are meat industry experts with over 130 years of experience representing independent butchers, farm shops, small abattoirs, processing and wholesale butchery operations as well as key suppliers to the industry.