North East Cotswold Farmer Cluster – Abattoir Feasibility Study

Stakeholder Survey – Draft Headlines

The survey was launched at the end of December 2023 and will run until the end of January 2024. A full analysis will be undertaken in February.

To date (15/1/24) we have had 90 responses.  We are aiming for 150 – 200.  More promotion/snowballing now needed.

Below are the draft findings/quick headlines to aid early thinking.

Survey Demographics:

  • Around 30% of respondent are NECFC members – 70% are not in the area or have not yet joined.
  • Nearly 80% identify as “Farmers (with land).”
  • Other respondents included graziers, farm workers, butchers and advisers.

Abattoir Usage Patterns:

  • Approx 33%% use their local abattoir regularly/very regularly.
  • The total number of beasts sent per year from all the respondents is 10,680
  • Average animals sent per year: Cattle (15), Sheep (134), Pigs (39), Goats (4), Deer (1).

Preferred Abattoirs:

  • Long Compton is preferred by 68% of survey respondents
  • The next most frequently mentioned abattoirs are Mutchmeats, Farmers Fresh and Broomhalls.
  • Key factors: Proximity, good service, and relationships.

Services Utilized:

  • Most use ‘Kill Only’ service (38%) or Kill and Cut (41%)
  • Limited use of added value or delivery services

Certification and Assurance:

  • 45% are farms are not farm-assured
  • Of those that are assured, 45% use Red Tractor.
  • Organic (25%) and PfL assurance (17%) are also important.

Abattoir Expenditure:

  • Costs/spend varies; mean average: £1505.96 a year.
  • Over 69% of respondents are willing to spend more £ (up to 30% more) on good abattoir services.

Impact of Abattoir Closure:

  • Main concerns = increased costs, negative impact on animal welfare, and reduced farm business viability.
  • Potential reassessment of business models and ceasing of farming operations mentioned by some.

Responses to Abattoir Closure:

  • Proactive responses include seeking alternatives and relocation.
  • Emotional responses include distress and uncertainty.

Long-Term Abattoir Needs (5 to 10 years):

  • Respondents seeking enhanced processing, cutting, and added value services.
  • Mobile abattoir services highly valued.
  • Moderate demand for coordinated livestock collection, meat/carcass delivery, and other specific needs.

Interest in Cooperative Ownership:

  • 84 people (93%) expressed interest in learning more about the opportunity to invest or be in part of a cooperative to own a local abattoir.

J Brunyee 17/01/2024