Coronavirus pandemic could aid small abattoirs

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The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a change in the dynamic of the food supply chain which may offer a lifeline to smaller abattoirs.

The challenges of running an abattoir and keeping it profitable have been well documented in recent months.

Andrew Clarke is the managing director of H.G. Blake, an independent multi-species abattoir near Norwich.

He also farms and owns two butcher’s shops in partnership with his family and wife, Hayley.

Mr Clarke said: “At the start of the pandemic demand for meat was unbelievable as supermarket shelves emptied and consumers shopped at local butchers.

“When supermarkets restocked we expected the bubble to burst, but it did not. Retail sales in our butcher’s shops has doubled, although it has eased off slightly in the last month.

“The catering side did suffer, but is starting to come back as outlets reopen. I do have some concerns, though, about when the furlough scheme comes to an end.




by Angela Calvert

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