Small abattoirs likely to benefit from public funding – Defra official

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Speaking at an Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) event on January 7, the department’s head of agricultural sectors, John Powell, said he was hopeful they would find a way to ensure small abattoirs can access cash through the Farming Investment Fund, which provides grants to improve productivity and secure environmental benefits.

He also pointed out that Defra was funding a farmer-led mobile abattoir pilot project through the rural development programme, which if successful, will be rolled out further and supported by public money.

Mr Powell said: “[One] key funding mechanism is Defra’s Farming Investment Fund, which went live last year.

“We did submit a list of potential items with the Abattoir Sector Group which might be eligible for funding, that unfortunately did not make the very competitive first round, but a second round is planned for 2022 and we are actively exploring what opportunities there are to support producers.

“This could and is likely to provide support to producers wanting to process and add value to their products. I hope we can find ways of building small abattoirs into proposals which would be able to achieve that aim.”

His comments came just a day after the Defra Secretary, George Eustice, appeared to downplay the idea of using taxpayer cash to support the abattoir network – for a second time.



by Abi Kay / Farmers Guardian



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