National Craft Butchers

  • 01892 541412


National Craft Butchers News

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:

Industry bodies warn Secretary of State: uncontrolled conversions to residential will damage high streets.

Industry bodies warn Secretary of State: uncontrolled conversions to residential will damage high streets.


11 February 2021, London:

Leading industry bodies have issued a joint letter today to The Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP – Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) – to urge the Government to recognise that its proposals for a blanket permitted development right on our high streets, enabling conversions to residential without planning permission, puts the future of our town centres at serious risk.

The coalition of industry bodies – comprising 27 leaders from across the property, retail, leisure, hospitality and planning sectors – believes strongly that town centres must be planned by local authorities working alongside businesses and the community.

While the residential sector will play a vital role in future town centre recovery, the Government’s proposed new PDR will encourage delivery of new homes in an uncoordinated manner on our high streets, threatening the existence of community services, education, healthcare and leisure, among others.



The Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP

Secretary of State

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Marsham Street



11 February 2021

Dear Secretary of State,

Proposed new Permitted Development Right

As representatives from across the economy and society, we believe passionately that town centres must be planned by local authorities working alongside business and the community.

It is well-recognised by your department that the best town centres do not just happen but require active co-ordination at a local level. The NPPF policies support this approach, as do the objectives of the High Streets Task Force and the guidance for both the Towns Fund and the Future High Streets Fund. Blanket permitted development rights for E Use Class to residential would damage these objectives for relatively minimal returns on additional housing stock. 

We welcome Government recognition that our town centres must change, but an all-embracing permitted development right that allows most commercial buildings to be converted to housing risks putting the long-term health of our town centres at risk for the sake of a short-term stimulus.

Putting ground floor housing in a random and uncontrolled manner within high streets does not draw footfall, does not support new businesses, reduces the potential for business growth and will undermine the viability of existing retail, cultural and commercial activities on the high street and remove convenience stores from local neighbourhoods. This will create a vicious circle whereby the reduced viability of the remaining commercial uses in turn threatens their existence and incentivises their conversion to residential.

At the neighbourhood level, we consider that local centres would be particularly at risk. The loss of local shops and services could precipitate their decline at a time when we are putting greater emphasis on the need for walkable neighbourhoods which provide a range of day-to-day needs in local centres. A change of use to housing is a one-way trip.

The policy puts the premises of small businesses at risk of redevelopment, will impact the real diversification of the high street and could threaten the existence of E Use classes uses such as financial and legal services, health centres, GP surgeries, Post Offices, community centres and hubs, gyms, leisure facilities, education, co-working spaces, and life sciences and deter other innovations coming into town centres.

Light industrial premises and the jobs and services they provide could be converted to residential, even though the locations could be far from the facilities and public transport residents need. 

Financially, the proposed permitted development right reduces local authorities’ ability to raise funds to mitigate the impact of conversions due to loss of planning gain, yet increases the pressure on local services, such as schools and other social infrastructure. In a relatively short time, it could also make a significant dent in local authority finances as council tax generally results in a lower contribution to local authority finances than business rates for the same size property.

You may be aware of concerns being raised about the lack of democratic oversight arising from the extensive use of permitted development rights. In the recent White Paper, you highlighted that the planning system has lost the public's trust. We are concerned that the extensive use of permitted development rights in the manner proposed without democratic oversight will lead to a further erosion of public trust and confidence in the planning system.

We therefore ask you to consider re-evaluating this policy. Instead, we believe more support should be given to local authorities to develop their own renewal plans, under clear direction in national policy. There is certainly the will and enthusiasm at a local level. What is often lacking is resource.

We all stand ready to support your aspirations for economic recovery, but we also all have an over-riding duty to our communities to build back better.

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Harrison, Executive Director, ActSmart

James Lowman, Chief Executive, Association of Convenience Stores

Christopher Hall, Executive Director, Association of Cycle Traders

Ojay McDonald, Chief Executive, Association of Town and City Management

Meryl Halls, Managing Director, Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland

Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

Andrew Goodacre, Chief Executive, British Independent Retailers Association


Melanie Leech CBE, Chief Executive, British Property Federation

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium

Jim Winship, Director, The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association

Karen Dear, Director of Operations, Craft Bakers Association

Crispin Truman, Chief Executive, CPRE ‘the countryside charity’

Kim Bayley, Chief Executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association

John Farrand, Managing Director, Guild of Fine Food

Mark Walmsley, Chair, Independent Retailers Confederation

Simon Quin, Co-Chair, Institute of Place Management

Bill Addy, Chief Executive, Liverpool BID Company

Peter Eversden MBE, Chairman, London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies

Corrine Stuart, Chief Executive, National Craft Butchers

Gary Wroe, Chair, National Association of Jewellers

Stuart Reddish, National President, National Federation of Independent Retailers

Joe Harrison, Chief Executive, NMTF

Mike Kiely, Chair, Planning Officers Society

Prof. Alan M Jones, President, Royal Institute of British Architects

Matthew Howell, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, RICS

Fiona Howie, Chief Executive, Town and Country Planning Association

ORFC Small Abattoir Highlights

Oxford Real Farming Conference Highlights for Small Abattoirs

The small abattoir sector will be encouraged by comments by speakers at the ORFC session on small abattoirs run by SFT. Comments by an American abattoir owner on using animal by-products in manufacture pet food products and composting were very interesting.

Emily Miles, FSA CEO, acknowledged that the one size fits all approach to abattoir regulation needed review and was being looked at under operational transformation. Emily also intimated that government agencies needed to coordinate more in data sharing and in respect of providing consumers with information about their food.

A Pasture Fed Livestock Association supported project on hides to leather from local farms and small abattoirs was encouraging.

Marisa Heath gave an outline of the new Abattoir Sector Group which NCB are members of and asked for interested parties to support the group and involve their local MP’s.

The sector group is looking to help develop an environment where small abattoirs are sustainable into the future so farmers have access to their services and the public have access to local meat.

Subscribe to NCB newsletter for updates -

Links to further Information


Campaign for Local Abattoirs -



10 Day rule to go at last!

10 Day rule to go at last!

10 Day rule to go at last!

National Craft Butchers warmly welcomes this long overdue decision by the Food Standards Agency to amend the infamous 10-day rule and clarify that fresh meat is no longer in scope. This is a policy change that has taken a painfully long time.
National Craft Butchers described the inclusion of fresh meat in the 10- day rule as, “one of the most contentious and criticised measures ever imposed on the food industry.” NCB have been a vocal critic, consistently challenging the Agency over the last several years. We pointed out that the measure was disproportionate and not risk-based and was unique in that no other country had anything similar.
We also pointed out that guidance of this type discriminates unfairly against smaller businesses who cannot afford extensive micro-testing to justify longer dates.
This change will not only benefit industry but will also drastically reduce food waste. The Waste and Resources Action Programme estimate that households throw away a staggering 240,000 tonnes of meat every year. Craft butchers consider this a criminal waste of money and an unacceptable strain on sustainability.
NCB Technical Manager Richard Stevenson commented: “First and foremost this is a great day for Craft Butchers and the whole industry. However, we should all remember that the measure should never have been adopted in the first place. A scientific study commissioned by BMPA and Meat and Livestock Australia (many congratulations to them) reported recently that fresh meat has the lowest spore loading of any food material or component. Frankly, the FSA should have already known this and on this occasion, they have done a great disservice to consumers by excessive use of the precautionary principle.”
John Mettrick, NCB Director of Legislation said: “ Great news for butchers that common sense has prevailed in the end and the regulation is proportional and matches the science”.

Brexit For Butchers


Trade from 1st January 2021
With no-deal looking more likely it is possible we will see price and supply volatility in the New Year.
Let us know your experiences and we will feed this into discussions with government officials.
Labelling Changes
Unless you export to an EU country, or supply another business in Northern Ireland, there are no immediate changes to consider.
For food sold domestically within GB there is to be a period of adjustment until 30 September 2022.
The government have stressed that any required labelling changes will be implemented in a way which supports businesses as they adapt to changing requirements over time.
There are very few changes or new requirements affecting loose weight sales or foods pre-packed for direct sale. Changes on pre-packs are also minimal and involve:
• FBO name and address
• EU Logo
• EU Organic Logo
• Country of Origin
• Health and ID Marks (see below)
We will inform all members in good time on the full details of these changes. You can access the current government guidance “Food and drink labelling changes from 1 January 2021” HERE
This document also includes further links to various connected information including guidance to businesses who export to EU countries or Northern Ireland.
Health and Identification Marks
• New arrangements for approved slaughterhouses, cutting plants and meat products/preparations premises start at 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020.
• The main alteration will be changing EU for GB. 
• Products already “placed on the market” will not need re-labelling/stamping if still in transit or being marketed by the end user.
• Identification marks on labels etc fixed to packaging/wrapping on meat products intended for domestic market only (Not for Export) will not need to change immediately on News Year Eve. There will be an adjustment period of 21 months.
• New GB labels will become compulsory on 1st October 2022, but businesses can introduce new labelling at any stage during the adjustment period.
• Health stamps on carcases, applied by FSA will change on 31 December 2020.
• There are slightly different arrangements for trade with Northern Ireland. 
Employing Foreign Nationals (including EU nationals)
Immigration and employment law is changing. Please see the advice from Peninsula here:

AHDB – Change Programme and Strategy 2021-2026

AHDB – Change Programme and Strategy 2021-2026

AHDB – Change Programme and Strategy 2021-2026

Having welcomed a much-needed review on what AHDB does and taken time to study the report, National Craft Butcher’s Chief Executive Roger Kelsey says, “Other than a cursory glance at environment, health and nutrition to promote red meat eating to consumers, it’s difficult to find anything in the report that points to the crucial role Craft Butchers and Small Abattoir’s play in improving animal welfare, supporting short local supply chains or developing craft skills and training; essential for a highly skilled workforce in a post COVID-19, post Brexit era and one with banned live exports and increased processing of red meat carcases for meat products to export or supply into the home market”.
National Craft Butchers represents both direct and indirect levy payers and looks forward to working with AHDB on all aspects of their 5 year strategy but especially those involving sustainability and promoting British meat at home, something our members are a vital part of. 
For a glimpse into the life of a small abattoir and levy payer see a recent article in Farmers Guardian featuring NCB member and Exec Councillor William Lloyd Williams MBE -
You can find the full AHDB strategy report here 
NCB members please let us know your comments and feedback on this by calling us on 01892 541412 or email

Winners of Women in Meat Industry Awards 2020 revealed

Winners of Women in Meat Industry Awards 2020 revealed

 Winners of Women in Meat Industry Awards 2020 revealed

The winners of the Women in Meat Industry Awards 2020 have been revealed during an online ceremony presented by Olympic medallist, Katharine Merry and Meat Management publisher, Graham Yandell.
Congratulations from National Craft Butchers to all the winners, with a special mention to National Craft Butchers member – 
Katie Potter, winner of The Rising Star Award
The 2020 winners are:
Meat Businesswoman Award – Trade Body: Margaret Boanas, chairman, International Meat Trade Association (IMTA).
Meat Businesswoman Award – Foodservice: Tracey Gardner, account director, Fairfax Meadow.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Retailing: Tricia Sykes, senior manager – technical and quality, meat fish and poultry, Asda.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Training and Education: Georgina Corbett, shift manager, butchery academy area leader, Cranswick plc.
The Rising Star Award: Katie Potter, butcher, Tim Potter Son & Daughter Ltd.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Industry Supplier: Dr Fiona Roberts, technical supply chain analyst, Foods Connected.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Manufacturing/Processing: Mairéad McCullough, site technical manager, ABP.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Craft Butchery: Rachel Godwin, company director/head butcher, Alternative Meats Ltd.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Wholesaling: Melanie Greaves, director/owner, T&G Wholesale Meats Ltd.
Meat Businesswoman of the Year: Margaret Boanas – IMTA chairman.
Full background information about the winners, as well as details of the finalists can be found in the December edition of Meat Management magazine both in print and online within the e-magazine, which can be viewed here.
Graham Yandell, publisher of Meat Management magazine, said: “Despite the extraordinary challenges we have all faced this year, it was great to be able to recognise many talented people who make up our industry.
“Although Covid-19 guidelines prevented us from staging a physical ceremony, the online format, along with the help of our special guest host, Katharine Merry, allowed us to truly appreciate the hard-work and dedication of the 51 finalists plus the category winners.
Winner of the Meat Businesswoman of the Year Margaret Boanas added: “I am delighted to accept this award, and to see women being recognised in our industry. Research acknowledges that companies with women in senior management roles perform better than those without, we need the brightest and best across all sectors in order to deal with the challenges we are facing.”

Wild Game


Wild Game


The Food Standards Agency recently updated their guidance, “Supply of Game for Human Consumption”. It is mainly a cosmetic updating but could lead to greater regulatory activity with your EHO asking questions about your game handling on their next visit.

The requirement to be licensed to sell game has long gone (and sadly missed by many) but there are still a few procedures butchers need to remember, especially if you buy from local hunters and shoots etc.

The most important requirement is that you know who you are buying from. Ask them if they are registered with the local authority as a food business (they do not have to be an “approved game handling establishment”) if they are supplying small quantities on a local basis. This assumes that you are supplying the end consumer.

If you supply other businesses things can get more complicated- call me to discuss further or check out the guidance for yourself. The definition of local is generous; local means within the hunter’s own county plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties OR 30 miles from the supplying county boundary.

The other main legal requirements are to keep records. Ensure that your supplier gives you a proper detailed invoice for every supply. The recommended temperature control for wild game is below 70C for large game and 40C for small game.

Many EHO’s will be anxious about how you handle game especially if it is still in fur and feather and/or needs evisceration. Make sure you have a documented procedure and excellent separation followed by a thorough clean and disinfection. EHO’s will often expect separation to be a designated separate room. Where this is not possible enforcement officers will usually tolerate separation in time provided you have robust procedures in place. Call me if this becomes an issue for you.


Positive case of Covid-19 in your business?

Positive case of Covid-19 in your business?

Positive case of Covid-19 in your business?

What happens if one staff member has a confirmed case?
We would advise closing early/opening late to deep clean the premises and sanitise all surfaces that the staff member may have touched, retrain all staff on importance of washing hands and social distancing. Notify staff that they may be contacted by NHS/Public health staff and told to self-isolate, if they are, they must do so immediately. You may also wish to consider increased precautionary measures in store such as face coverings as well as visors, reduced staffing etc. You do not necessarily have to close the shop or send everybody home. You and your staff do not need to automatically self-isolate.
What about more than one staff member is confirmed?
If there is more than one case of COVID-19 in a workplace, employers need to contact their local health protection team to report a suspected outbreak. Find your local health protection team. They will decide if closure and of self-isolation of staff and/or family need to be considered. 
Please also notify us so we can ensure you are following the correct advice and getting support.
What can I do to minimise the chances of multiple staff needing to self-isolate or having to close my shop?
Abide by social distancing guidelines, staff should be 2 metres apart. Where that is not possible you need to consider visors, face coverings and screens but these do not provide the same protection. 
Try to form bubbles/shifts with your staff so that they do not all work together to minimise spread and impact. Review your risk assessment regularly.
What is the criteria for being asked to self-isolate?
It varies and decisions will be made on a case by case basis by the authorities however usually if you have been in close contact you may be asked to self-isolate. A close ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 7 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). This could be a person who:
  • has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
  • being coughed on
  • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
  • contact within one metre for one minute
  • has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes (even if they have used face coverings)
  • has travelled in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane
Staff only need to Self-isolate under the following circumstances
  • They or someone they live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • They have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus
  • Someone in their ‘support bubble’ (or your ‘extended household’ if you live in Scotland or Wales) has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • They have been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
  • They have symptoms and are waiting for test results,
Current Guidance states that if you have a confirmed case of Covid-19 you must self-isolate for 10 days. All who live in the same household must self-isolate for 14 days. As an employer you should support and enforce any member of staff in these circumstances. If they receive a phone call at work, you must send them home immediately. You can pay and claim back SSP for eligible staff that are off due to these circumstances. If in doubt call National Craft Butchers, Peninsula.
Wherever possible minimise your staff and customers encountering each other in any of the ways listed above. This will minimise the risk to your staff, customers, and business.
Full Workplace Test & Trace Guidance can be found here -
Call National Craft Butchers on 01892541412 or Full Members can access Peninsula Employment Services 24/7 by calling 08448007091 with their membership information.