Over half of small and local abattoirs expect to close within the next five years if action is not taken to safeguard their future, new research shows.
The National Craft Butchers (NCB) surveyed small and local abattoirs throughout England, Scotland, and Wales from March to May this year.
It highlighted the importance of the local abattoir network to farmers and the challenges it currently faces, including increased regulation, lack of training and loss of income.
Of the abattoirs surveyed, 70 percent of owners are aged over 51, with 11 percent over the age of 66, highlighting the sector’s aging workforce.
Over half (59 percent) expect to close the business within the next 5 years if action is not taken, and 56% do not have a succession plan or someone to take over the business.
Increases in one size fits all regulation, loss of income through hides and skins and lack of education in the meat industry as a skilled and attractive career choice is leading to a ‘cliff edge’, the NCB said.
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