Study into local meat production results announced

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Published Tuesday 16 July 2013

A recent study looking into how best to support livestock farming in the New Forest has concluded that a locally-based abattoir is not a viable proposition at the current time.

A survey of local farmers demonstrated that although there are likely to be enough animals to generate demand for a local abattoir, the challenges of sourcing enough funding to build the abattoir coupled with the sector’s low profit margins make it unlikely to gain sufficient returns on investment.

The study was carried out by consultants Promar International on behalf of organisations including the New Forest Marque and National Farmers’ Union, and was funded by New Forest RDPE (Leader) and the National Park Authority. It suggests that some of the problems that are caused by a lack of a local abattoir might be addressed by better co-operation between farmers sharing transport and by combining buying power.

New Forest Marque Chairman Jane Overall said: ‘The lack of a New Forest abattoir has been a long-running topic of conversation for years. It is disappointing for meat producers that a viable business model is not there at the current time, but we are committed to supporting small farmers in the Forest and will look carefully at the report to see how best the New Forest Marque can help this sector in such difficult times.'

Sam Dovey, local group secretary of the National Farmers’ Union, said: ‘The report is very thorough and gives us lots to think about here in the Forest. It also sets out what might need to change to make an abattoir more viable in the future, and other ways of addressing the problem.’

You can view the report at www.newforestmarque.co.uk

-ends-

Notes to Editors: The Marque® – a sign of quality.

A product is only licensed to use the Marque® if:

  • it contains at least 25 per cent New Forest produce

  • it has met stringent standards according to its particular speciality (for example, meat producers must show that high standards of welfare and good husbandry have been applied at all times).

Hosted by the New Forest National Park Authority the award scheme was created to:

  • give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce

  • encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of  transporting food long distances

  • help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment.

For more information on the New Forest Marque and who is part of the Marque visit www.newforestmarque.co.uk

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect

  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639
Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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