National Craft Butchers

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National Craft Butchers News

Test and Trace Exemption List

Self Isolation Exemptions

The latest Government announcement regarding exemptions from self-isolation for Critical workers is unlikely to apply to retail butchers. The exemptions are for small numbers of workers and are only applicable on application to Government departments.

The test that is applied when identifying if an individual could attend work is whether they work in critical elements of national infrastructure and whether their absence would be likely to lead to the loss or compromise of this infrastructure resulting in one or both of the following:

  • major detrimental impact on the availability, integrity or delivery of essential services – including those services whose integrity, if compromised, could result in significant loss of life or casualties
  • significant impact on national security, national defence, or the functioning of the state

Please be aware that whilst some staff in some supermarket warehouse/depots may be exempt if an application is made, this does not currently apply to retail staff in supermarkets!

We are of course aware of the importance all Craft Butchers play in their local communities and that the services you provide include processing, and may also include slaughtering or providing food to care homes and schools. In these cases you may wish to make an application for an exemption. If you wish to do so please bear in mind the following –

  • Applications must be made by the business to Defra - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Applications must be for named staff only and only staff who are vital, i.e the owner/manager or a butcher
  • Only staff who have been double vaccinated (and past 14 day point) will be eligible
  • You can not apply for all staff or even most of your staff
  • You need to provide the number of people who it is proposed would leave self-isolation
  • the roles those individuals need to perform (serving customers would not be allowable.)
  • the impact failure to do this would have and when this impact is likely to materialise (for example, is it already an issue or likely to materialise in the coming days)

If the application is granted the employee is only allowed to leave self-isolation to travel directly to work, fulfil their hours and travel directly home it does not enable them to stop self-isolation completely. They must also have daily testing, as an employer making the application it is likely you will be responsible for ensuring your employee and business meets all the ongoing criteria that Defra may put on the exemption.

For those who are not able to obtain an exemption or do not wish to then please bear in mind the following

  • As of 16th August staff who are fully vaccinated will not have to self-isolate unless someone in their household is positive (*subject to change by UK Govt)
  • You can minimise risks by encouraging staff to take regular lateral flow tests some even daily before work to help identify cases early.
  • Separate your team by distance wherever possible 2 metres is still required to avoid being classed as a close contact.
  • Make sure ventilation in premises is good
  • Support staff in getting their vaccines with flexibility in working hours and consider paid time off for vaccines.

We will of course keep you all updated as more information is released throughout the day or if anything changes,  but please call us with any questions.

NCB responds to National Food Strategy

National Food Strategy Reponse

National Craft Butchers welcomes the publication of the National Food Strategy. We agree that a balanced diet and less reliance on ultra-processed food is vital to the UK’s health.  We do not however agree that meat should be used as a blanket term. Scientific and medical communities all agree that meat is a key part of a healthy, balanced diet, full of essential vitamins and minerals.

We need to differentiate between intensively farmed animals, which can be part of the problem, and locally produced pasture-fed cattle and sheep which are absolutely part of the solution. In other words, ‘It’s not the cow but the how.’

We believe that the importance of domestic, high-quality, and traceable food production for the nation’s health and wellbeing should not be underestimated. This is the type of produce that our Craft Butchers excel in and we would recommend that customers who care about where their food comes from and how it is produced visit their local Butcher.  

NCB Legislative Director and Abattoir Sector Group Vice Chair John Mettrick noted the report’s recommendation that, ‘The Government should conduct a review of small abattoirs to ensure that the capacity exists to serve the expected increase in numbers of farms using livestock in their rotations.’ John added “This is a critical issue which must be addressed and is one we have been campaigning on for some time, most recently as part of the Abattoir Sector Group. Local supply chains are vital to flexibility and food security and Small Local Abattoirs are a vital link in this chain”

NCB would therefore go further and recommend a specific strategy to develop and support local and regional food systems, with greater investment in short supply chain infrastructure, as a key part of the National Food Strategy’s wider plan for healthy and sustainable food. This strategy would also deliver lower food miles and shorter transport times for animals.