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Union Looks for Solution to Island Abattoir Closure

Following on from Orkney Council shutting down the island’s only abattoir, NFU Scotland is seeking to find a resolution for their affected members.

The abattoir, which is run by the local butcher consortium Orkney Meat Processors Ltd (OMPL), was closed last week due to fears that standards will not be able to be upheld without substantial investment.

NFU Scotland Livestock Committee Chairman Charlie Adam said: “The sudden closure of the abattoir on Orkney late last week is a disappointing development, without an abattoir operating on the island the Orkney Beef PDO and Orkney Lamb PDO cannot be used. The closure also causes a major difficulty in the production of North Ronaldsay mutton, which is vital to the small community.

“NFU Scotland is working with members in Orkney to discuss what should happen next. Clearly all parties must get around the table to explore market opportunities and to assess available options. The abattoir has at times provided a necessary service for farmers and crofters on Orkney and it is only sensible that discussions take place between farmers, local butchers, Orkney Islands Council, the Scottish Government and other relevant stakeholders on the future of production on the islands.

“While the majority of livestock already leaves Orkney for further finishing or slaughter the abattoir provided a convenient destination, and provided PDO backed local provenance which is of particular importance to the tourist trade.”

NFU Scotland Orkney Chairman David Scarth commented: “Although it was not unexpected it is still a disappointment to those farming on the island who are at a very real risk of losing the PDO for Orkney Beef and Orkney Lamb if we go for any length of time without this facility.

“The abattoir is a vital service for Orkney farming, not only for PDO accreditation but it also provides a useful outlet for stock destined for customers in Orkney preventing them being transported to the mainland abattoirs, only to come back in to local food service customers.

“The Union is looking to work with stakeholders and authorities, both locally and at national level, in a hope to find both short and long term solutions to the issue.” Ends

Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 06/18


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