6 June 2001
Six weeks to fund Welsh meat plant

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

WELSH farmers have been given until mid-July to invest at least 500,000 in a new meat-processing venture in Cardiganshire.

The Welsh arm of Farmers Fresh said it would use the money raised to develop the former Lampeter Meats plant over the next three years.

The aim is to supply meat and oven-ready products to independent high street butchers and a range of specialist outlets.

Mike Gooding, group marketing director of holding company Farmers First, said the new facility would provide specialist butchery services for small retailers.

It would also serve people selling at farmers markets, the fledgling Welsh Veal Company, organic producers and breed-based meat suppliers.

New techniques would be used to produce a different type of boxed lamb and, by 2003, the plant would produce ready meals for the retail and catering markets.

If at least 1000 farmers bought the minimum shareholding of 500, the plant could begin killing 250 cattle and 2500 sheep a week this year, he said.

Only shareholders would supply livestock directly and benefit from profits.

“This is an investment by Wales, in Wales for Wales,” said Mr Gooding. “Only stock born and bred in Wales that meet our specifications will be accepted.

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