Small Abattoir Funding Announced
DEFRA farming minister Mark Spencer has announced the creation of a £4m fund “by the end of 2023” to help the small abattoir sector invest for the future and will ease the burden of regulation to help businesses stay competitive.
Announcing a number of measures on Wednesday (13 September 2023), Mark Spencer said the fund would be used to improve productivity, enhance animal health and welfare, and encourage investment in new technologies.
It will be open to red meat and poultry businesses with an annual throughput of up to 10,000 livestock units, including beef, pork, and lamb, and/or 500,000 birds a year.
The minister also confirmed that the government would identify opportunities to remove unnecessary burdens for small abattoirs “to make it easier for them to operate and support farmers in reaching local and international markets”.
Eleanor O’Brien, NCB Managing Director responded to this news, “NCB are delighted with this news, after many years of campaigning for the importance of small abattoirs this is a firm step in the right direction to ensuring their survival. NCB eagerly await the full detail of the funding and look forward to continuing our work with UK Government on next steps to guarantee a robust network of small abattoirs.”
In response to ongoing campaigning from National Craft Butchers, the Sustainable Food Trust, and members of the ASG, Mr Spencer first suggested a fund for small abattoirs at the NFU conference in February 2023.
Megan Perry from SFT said “We welcome the further announcement of the small abattoirs fund…this issue has now become critical due to the many closures of small abattoirs with devasting consequences for farmers and the future of local meat.