16 August 2002

Organic abattoir claim

A NEW farmer-owned abattoir is set to play a key role in developing Pembrokeshires organic livestock industry, claim the ventures backers.

The Pembrokeshire Meat Company, formed by 64 farmers and businessmen in a county which lost its only abattoir 13 years ago, forecasts an expansion in organic production at existing and new businesses in the region.

The new £750,000 slaughterhouse will cater for organic and conventionally produced cattle, sheep and pigs. It will be open before Christmas with an expected annual throughput of about 8500 livestock units for both the home and export markets.

According to its business plan, the venture will exploit the growing organic market opportunities in Wales and beyond.

Shareholders have invested £190,000, ranging from contributions of £500 to £16,000. The remaining cost was financed by a £240,000 EU grant and a bank loan.

A major financial backer is the award-winning organic meat processor, the Welsh Hook Meat Company, which also has a processing plant at Haverfordwest.

Chairman John Davies says the new slaughtering link will make it easier to exploit growing organic opportunities. The abattoir is sited in an area where organic slaughter facilities are even scarcer than conventional ones. &#42