A small-scale abattoir could open on Anglesey following the closure of Vion’s Welsh Country Foods plant at Gaerwen last year.
The abattoir could be based on 1.2ha of land pledged by Anglesey farmer, Iolo Owen, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has announced.
See also: Vion plant to close
Currently farmers haul their livestock to mainland abattoirs for processing, including Preston and Newtown.
Following talks at Anglesey Show, the union’s county executive officer, Heidi Williams, said the planned abattoir could help fill the gap left by the closure of Gaerwen.
Although the new facility would be significantly smaller than the mothballed meat processing plant, it would be a multi-species abattoir that would not depend on single contracts, said Mrs Williams. “It would supply the wholesale and catering sectors, and allow for private kills, too,” she said.
A feasibility study has shown that an abattoir handling 30 livestock units a week could break even or possibly make a small profit. Grants may be available to support the start-up and one Anglesey butcher, Karl Jones of Valley Butchers, has also expressed an interest in investing in the project, Mrs Williams explained.
“He has built the reputation of his business on the quality of local produce and sources his produce locally to sell to local people, and by doing so cuts food miles. But since the abattoir in Gaerwen closed, he has been forced to haul stock all the way to Wrexham, then all the way back,” she said.