Study into local meat production results announced

25 October 2013

A recent study looking into how best to support livestock farming in the New Forest has concluded that a locally-based abattoir is not a viable proposition at the current time.

A survey of local farmers demonstrated that although there are likely to be enough animals in the to generate demand for a local abattoir, the challenges of sourcing enough funding to build the abattoir coupled with the sector's low profit margins make it unlikely to gain sufficient returns on investment.

The study was carried out by consultants Promar International on behalf of organisations including the New Forest Marque and National Farmers' Union, and was funded by New Forest RDPE (Leader) and the National Park Authority. It suggests that some of the problems that are caused by a lack of a local abattoir might be addressed by better co-operation between farmers sharing transport and by combining buying power.

New Forest Marque Chairman Jane Overall said: 'The lack of a New Forest abattoir has been a long-running topic of conversation for years. It is disappointing for meat producers that a viable business model is not there at the current time, but we are committed to supporting small farmers in the Forest and will look carefully at the report to see how best the New Forest Marque can help this sector in such difficult times.'

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