Funding boost for Dalbeattie abattoir
Plans for an abattoir in Dumfries and Galloway have taken a major step forward thanks to a Scottish Government grant.
Dumfries and Galloway Food Co-operative has been awarded a Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant of almost £1.3 million towards the cost of an abattoir at Craignair, near Dalbeattie.
Currently, the vast majority of livestock produced in Dumfries and Galloway is slaughtered outwith the region – either in other Scottish plants or further afield.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“By providing a slaughter and meat processing facility, the new Dalbeattie abattoir will provide Dumfries and Galloway farmers and butchers with a local option instead of having to ship their livestock out of the area.
“As well as savings on haulage costs, there will also be environmental benefits thanks to the reduction in food miles.
“Local abattoirs play an important part in the food chain and this grant clearly demonstrates our commitment that animals should be slaughtered as close to where they are reared as possible. This investment will provide an excellent boost for Scotland’s red meat sector as well as consumers in Dumfries and Galloway.”
NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:
"Scotland's very successful food and drink strategy has brought Scottish farmers closer to the marketplace and consumers than ever before.
“Small scale abattoirs, such as that proposed for Dalbeattie, give individual farmers the opportunity to add value to their livestock and the potential to engage more directly with their customers through a number of routes - direct sales, farm shops, specialist retailers, farmers markets, hotels and restaurants. This is a positive development that gives livestock farmers in the area greater choice in the way they can market their stock."
James Graham, Chief Executive of SAOS said:
“The announcement of support for Dumfries & Galloway Food Co-op provides further tangible evidence in this UN International Year of Co-operatives of the Scottish Government’s support for locally owned, self-help enterprise.
“The co-op was initiated in response to a clear local need and pursued with great vigour and persistence by its founder members who are to be congratulated on securing this grant. The new abattoir will be an essential component in the future of the Dumfries and Galloway farming and food economy, opening new opportunities for value-adding and branding.
Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, said:
"At QMS we are very pleased that this initiative by Dumfries & Galloway Food Co-operative to create a new abattoir and processing facility near Dalbeattie has been given the support it needs to go ahead.
“The members of the co-operative are experienced producers with a long-standing commitment to quality, demonstrated by their membership of the QMS Farm Assurance scheme, and we feel that their proposal is both achievable and fills a genuine gap in service provision in the area.
"The South West already has the highest density of livestock in Scotland and this modern slaughter facility will help to underpin the further development of significant local meat production.
“Similar initiatives in both Orkney and Mull have demonstrated that it is possible to develop successful abattoirs run by a co-operative and allow local farmers to add value to their own livestock.”
The Dalbeattie slaughterhouse will offer a range of facilities including a multi-species abattoir service, a chilling and storage facility, a boning and processing service, a full butchering and packing service and a cooking/curing service.
The Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) Grant Scheme provides assistance to develop food processing facilities to ensure more value is retained by both farmers and growers, supporting a successful and prosperous food processing industry. Projects assisted through the FPMC scheme contribute to the Government’s overall policies for Scotland’s food and drink sector.