Providing a locally based abattoir fit for 21st Century needs in Orkney is a challenge. To encourage private investment in finding a solution Orkney Islands Council has launched an ‘Abattoir Challenge Fund’.
Up to £50,000 is to be made available to support a range of pre-project development costs.
Councillor Graham Sinclair, Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said:
“Orkney Beef and Orkney Lamb continue to have a widespread reputation for quality due to largely grass-fed livestock production. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status requires the beasts to be slaughtered in Orkney, so we are keen that this important contribution to Orkney’s superb food and drink offer can be continued.
“There’s also potential for high-quality export markets to be reached through adding value to the core product in a wide range of ways. It is important too that animal welfare issues are addressed through maintaining an emergency slaughter facility.
“The current abattoir is simply too big and the equipment too old. It’s time to try a new approach and this Fund is intended to encourage innovation and new thinking.
“Ideally, we hope that a private sector organisation will come forward and develop a more efficient facility on an appropriate scale, possibly with capital grant support from the public sector.”
For Orkney Meat Processors Limited who are the consortium of 4 independent local butchers currently running the abattoir it has not been easy.
“Running an abattoir isn’t our core business. It is becoming increasingly more challenging to continue providing a service from the current abattoir, so we would welcome an alternative provision.
“First and foremost we are butchers with local customers to serve and we will make every effort to ensure that we can continue to offer our customers meat and meat products sourced from locally reared livestock.”
For more information contact Gavin Cameron, Funding Development Officer for Orkney Islands Council. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01856 873535 extension 2830.
The closing date is 5 February 2018.