The impact of abattoir closures on farming and food businesses - survey results
The Soil Association has commented on a survey which has highlights that local abattoirs are a vital service for food and farming businesses, with 88% of the 1,300 who responded, saying their closest abattoir is either essential or important to the success of their business. And 64% said the availability, or lack of availability, of a local abattoir had impacted their future business plans.
The survey, by the Sustainable Food Trust and National Craft Butchers, found that the UK is losing small abattoirs at a rate of 10% per year according to the Food Standards Agency.
Our Organic Farming Advisor Adrian Steele said: “The harsh reality is that UK abattoirs are on their knees. These businesses, small and large, are struggling to stay afloat and to see any future at all. We need government to act now for farming by providing clear financial support to help sustain a viable network of abattoirs across the UK.
“It is also critical to understand the role that local abattoirs play in supporting local food economies and the government’s own ambitions for local nature recovery. Many local abattoirs are an essential cornerstone of local supply chains and support local marketplaces where small-scale welfare-friendly livestock farmers often sell much of their produce. They enable them to support nature recovery by investing in beneficial breeds such as native cattle breeds on lowland meadows.
“It is vital that farmers have the reassurance and confidence that they will be able to sustain their business and rely on the survival of cost-effective quality abattoirs within easy and affordable reach. The government may have promised future funding grants but the continued delay is having a devastating impact on businesses. It is imperative that they act now and confirm the level of financial support available to provide the certainty that the industry needs.”
Find out more
Read the full story on Sustainable Food Trust's website