OIC Looks to the Private Sector for Solutions to Orkney’s Abattoir Problem

The Abattoir Challenge Fund is being re-launched by Orkney Islands Council. An award of £50,000 earlier this year failed to produce solutions to the problem of  Orkney no longer having an abattoir on the islands.

The Development and Infrastructure Committee had discussed the issue in private and had made this recommendation to the full council at the meeting of the  9th of October.

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The abattoir in Orkney closed in January 2018.

Protected Designation of OriginAs animals are no longer slaughtered on Orkney it means Orkney Beef and Orkney Lamb (North Ronaldsay) can no longer be labelled with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) brand.

Animals have to be shipped to mainland Scotland to be slaughtered.

Graham Sinclair, Chair of OIC’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said:

“All involved are well aware of the considerable challenges that need to be overcome in providing future abattoir services for our community.

“But we are keen to encourage the industry to work collectively in finding a potential way forward. Most of the original fund is still available and we hope there will be further bids for financial support.”

The Council’s position is that the model which has been in place since 2012 is no longer sustainable having cost them £1million.  The Hatston abattoir had become too big for the county’s needs  with much of the plant and equipment in need of significant re-investment.

Across Scotland and rUK local abattoirs have been closing with the result that animals are travelling greater distances before being slaughtered. The issue in Orkney is further complicated with the loss of the PDO protected named status.

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The Abattoir Challenge Fund

The aim is to encourage the private sector to develop potential solutions to the challenge of providing a sustainable abattoir for the county.

Bids can be made for funding to support a range of pre-project development costs, such as market research, feasibility studies and business planning.

Further information about how to apply for support from the fund is available from Jackie Thomson, Development and Regeneration Manager at the Council. Phone 01856873535 Extension 2507 or email jackie.thomson@orkney.gov.uk.

The closing date for applications is 30 November 2018.

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