Trust and council in for the kill

UK - Shetlands Islands Council and Shetland Development Trust have agreed to work together to build a £2.4 million abattoir to beef up the islands' meat industry and protect crofters' livelihoods into the future.
calendar icon 13 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
In a unique move which could see the creation Scotland's first community-owned abattoir, the council will work with the local development agency and the agricultural industry to design the state of the art facility.

Crofters and farmers have been moaning for years about the limitations of the islands' two existing slaughterhouses which are unable to cope with demand.

Meanwhile the islands' have been working hard on developing their food industry, growing produce for local markets and to export as a premium product.

Several sections of the agricultural community have been lobbying the council and the trust to build an entirely new facility to meet the demand, and yesterday (Monday) the trust announced the council had given the idea the green light.

The decision means that development and capital programme staff from the trust and the council will team up to consult with "meat producers and processors" to agree the design of a new abattoir big enough to slaughter and process large numbers of sheep and cattle.

The £2.4 million estimate has come from an independent consultant and may not be the final price of the venture, but that is how much money the trust is prepared to invest. Optimists believe the abattoir could be up and running by August 2008.

The building would transform the local agricultural industry which has always in the past been geared towards exporting "store" animals for fattening up on the richer pastures of the mainland.

An abattoir in Shetland would also open the door to supplying the local market for beef and lamb, including schools, hospitals and care homes. Meat could also be processed and packaged to a level not possible at the moment.

This is the first time the council and the development trust have taken such a combined strategic approach to assisting an industry, and is a sign of the direction the local authority is moving with its plans for a new Community Development Trust (CDT), incorporating development staff from both organisations.

The CDT will be launched at the end of this summer, and the man who will be in charge is the SIC's interim head of economic development Neil Grant. He said that "most agricultural businesses dealing in meat products" wanted to see the islands' slaughtering facilities improved.

Source: The Shetland News
© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.