Small abattoirs are the unsung linchpins of our local food systems. Without them, we could not have local, traceable meat production. Small-scale, high-welfare farming, rearing of rare breeds, including organic or pasture fed, and the success of local food businesses, including direct sales like meat boxes and farm shops, all depend on the services of small, local abattoirs.
Yet, the UK’s smallest abattoirs are currently facing an unprecedented crisis. There are now only 56 small red meat abattoirs left in the UK, with a third having closed between 2007 and 2017 and a further seven closing this year. With high running costs and an industry increasingly geared towards centralised, industrial food systems, many of them are losing money and find it hard to see how this will change.
The Sustainable Food Trust launched a report in 2018 which exposed the critical situation for small abattoirs. This sparked the formation of the Campaign for Local Abattoirs which is a coalition between the SFT, National Craft Butchers, the National Sheep Association and other producers and abattoir owners.
Please click here to visit the CFLA website.
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