The government has launched the £4 million smaller abattoir fund to boost the sustainability and efficiency of red meat and poultry smaller abattoirs across England.
The smaller abattoir fund will award capital grants from £2,000 up to a maximum of £60,000 to help support smaller abattoirs across England improve productivity, enhance animal health and welfare, add value to primary products, and encourage innovation and investment in new technologies.
The government said it would support the purchase of a diverse range of capital investments, including items such as cold storage units, allowing abattoirs to increase production rates and help remove waiting times for farmers for getting stock processed.
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will email all eligible smaller abattoirs directly within the coming days, outlining the application process.
Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “England’s abattoirs are critical to livestock farmers who provide their high-quality products to local butchers and farm shops up and down the country.
“This £4 million fund will not only help smaller abattoir and mobile business owners to innovate, invest and improve standards, but it will give farmers more stability in getting their products to market.”
John Mettrick, Chair of the Abattoir Sector Group said: “I am delighted that the Smaller Abattoir Fund has launched. This demonstrates that the government recognises the importance of small abattoirs to farmers, butchers, and the whole rural supply chain.
“This fund has been developed by Defra, the Food Standards Agency, the Abattoir Sector Group and the meat industry working together, and I would urge abattoir businesses to take advantage of the fund to help develop their businesses for the future.”
The application window for the Smaller Abattoir Fund will remain open for nine months and abattoirs will be able to submit up to three applications up to the maximum funding level of £60,000.