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National Craft Butchers News

NCB Abattoir Survey

NCB Launches Abattoir Survey

National Craft Butchers has launched an Abattoir Survey and is hoping to receive responses from Small and Medium Abattoirs throughout the UK. 

National Craft Butchers were founding members of the Campaign for Local Abattoirs and more recently the Abattoir Sector Group. The aim of these groups is to ensure the future of small abattoirs UK wide and we need the input from Abattoirs to be able to do so, currently there is limited data or evidence of the services Small & Local Abattoirs provide to their communities or the value they provide to the industry. There is also limited evidence of the challenges they face both regulatory and economically.

Please make the time to complete as much of this survey as possible, it should take no longer than 15 minutes and could provide valuable information to help your cause.


National Minimum Wage Increase

National Minimum Wage Increase

National Minimum Wage Increase

April will see the beginning of changes to NMW rates, as well as who is entitled to what. In his address to the House of Commons on 26 November 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Government will be increasing NMW rates in 2021 as normal, and that the age threshold for the National Living Wage (NLW) will be lowered to cover 23-year-olds and above.

The table below highlights this change, showing the current NMW and NLW rates and the upcoming rates that will apply from 1 April 2021:


Current rates

Rates from 1 April 2021

Workers aged 25 and over (NLW)

£8.72 an hour


Workers aged 23 and over (NLW)


£8.91 an hour

Workers aged 21-24

£8.20 an hour


Workers aged 21-22


£8.36 an hour

Development rate for workers aged 18-20

£6.45 an hour

£6.56 an hour

Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17

£4.55 an hour

£4.62 an hour

Apprentices under 19, or 19+ but in the first year of the apprenticeship

£4.15 an hour

£4.30 an hour


It is crucial that employers pay their staff the correct minimum wage rates. Failure to do so could result in costly and time-consuming tribunal claims. The Government has also relaunched the naming and shaming scheme, after a two-year pause. This may make employers liable to more stringent penalties if they fail to pay the correct minimum wage to their staff. A list of 139 organisations who failed to pay their staff appropriate minimum wage rates was recently published by Government. Business Minister Paul Scully described this move as a wake-up call to “rogue” employers.

This came after a 2016-18 investigation found that a total of £6.7 million was left unpaid to over 95,000 employees by both large and small organisations across the UK. According to the Government, this offence occurred for a number of reasons; low-paid staff were obligated to cover costs of their work uniforms, training, or parking and employers failing to raise staff pay once they were eligible for a higher wage bracket.

Offending employers have been required to make outstanding wage payments to staff based on current minimum wage rates rather than those in place at that time of the underpayment. In addition, they have paid fines of 200% of the unpaid amount to the Government, at a cap of £10,000 per employee. 

It may be easy for the law to be misconstrued when it comes to minimum wage, especially as it changes on a yearly basis. However, it important that employers keep in mind that the onus remains on them to ensure that they are keeping in line with the law, as made clear by the Government.

Content provided by NCB partner - Peninsula Business Services, offering employment experise to our members. 

Full Members can contact Peninsula 24/7 for Employment and Health & Safety Advice and Support.

Plastic Bag Charge

Plastic Bag Charge

REMINDER: Plastic Bag “Tax” from 1st April 2021

 In England small business’s (under 250 employees) have been exempt from the “tax” since the measure was first introduced 5 years ago, although some have decided to introduce a charge on a voluntary basis.

As from the 1st of April small businesses will no longer be exempt and the charge will double to 10p.

The proceeds are not collected by the government and instead businesses are encouraged to donate the monies collected to good causes. The government asks larger retailers to keep records and report each year on what they do with the money. The government then publishes an annual summary of how many bags have been sold, and the quantity of plastic saved from contaminating the environment, as well as how much money has been donated to worthwhile causes.

Small businesses are exempt from the record -keeping and reporting requirement but if you do wish to donate to local causes an easy and efficient way to keep track is add a carrier bag button to your till.

There is also an exemption for bags only containing unwrapped raw foods, including meat, in recognition of the food safety risk.

There is currently no exemption for biodegradable bags due to technical difficulties of measuring the actual biodegrade ability of different materials. Arrangements in Wales remain unchanged.

NCB Pleads for Action to save Small Abattoirs

National Craft Butchers Acting President John Mettrick Pleads for Action to save Small Abattoirs

National Craft Butchers are expecting proposals this week from FSA Operations on the future of meat inspection.

John Mettrick said, “The NCB team have been engaging positively with FSA and other government departments for some time now . They are listening and are sympathetic to our cause. However now is the time for the FSA to come forward with a firm declaration of intent.”

William Lloyd Williams, Policy director at NCB added, “We have all seen over the last 12 months how much the British public value their local butcher and farm shop. Without a thriving network of small and medium abattoirs the future of high quality, known provenance and low-carbon meat could be lost forever.

NCB Policy and Technical Manager pointed out that, “The UK authorities could do so much to help smaller abattoirs by introducing flexible, risk-based, less bureaucratic and IT savvy practices. It is particularly ironic that the EU has already moved in this direction but due to the timing of Brexit the UK has not been able to take advantage. It is imperative that Minister’s put meat inspection reform at the top of the agenda for post-Brexit legislation”.

John Mettrick concluded, “Craft Butchers are urging the FSA to bite the bullet and use this once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the prospects of the local abattoir sector.”

National Craft Butchers were founding members of the Campaign for Local Abattoirs and more recently the Abattoir Sector Group. The aim of these groups is to ensure the future of small abattoirs UK wide.

NCB hold regular Zoom meetings with abattoir members. These have been informal and popular events and members have been keen to feed in views and comments, which has informed NCB policy.

Local Abattoirs

Local Abattoirs

National Craft Butchers supports several of the conclusions in February’s Review of WATOK, we were especially glad to see the recognition the APGAW Small Abattoir report and the unique challenges faced by Local Abattoirs throughout the country.

The review identified a small number of instances where burdens might be reduced on businesses, including possible extension of the period of a Temporary Certificate of Competence for training purposes, currently this can only be extended for exceptional circumstances and this can be a challenge for those who are training at Local Abattoirs who offer discontinuous slaughter.  

To read the full post implementation review of the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015 please click here -

For more information on National Craft Butchers work supporting Small & Local Abattoirs then please see the following:

Craft Butcher Magazine:

Campaign for Local Abattoirs:

Abattoir Sector Group: