Poultry processing company expands into organics
A Cornish poultry firm has been awarded European funding for a feasibility study on setting up an organic production and processing operation.
Camel Valley Poultry currently run the only licensed poultry slaughtering and cutting plant in Cornwall.
Now, the Camelford-based firm are to look at expanding into the organic market and setting up a new plant capable of dealing with a range of poultry including organic, free range, barn reared and conventionally reared birds and spent hens.
The feasibility study will produce a business plan for the proposed operation and look at the potential for producing organic chicken on Cornish farms to meet the expanding market and compete with the high volume currently imported into the UK.
The six-month Cornish Organic Chicken study will cost £30,000 and has been approved through Cornwall's Objective One programme for a £12,000 grant from the European Agricultural Guidance & Guarantee Fund and £12,000 from DEFRA.
The study will involve working with two Soil Association registered farms to run trials into the best method of organic chicken production.
Clive Davis from Camel Valley Poultry said: "We are going to be looking at some innovative ideas for chicken rearing facilities that, if successful, could be replicated elsewhere in Cornwall and beyond. We will be looking at two different housing systems, one of which is wooden arc housing and the other a sectional insulated unit, with housing capacities of 200 and 500 birds respectively."
He added: "While the trials are underway, other organic farmers will be invited to visit the demonstration units. The methods that we are going to trial could also provide a viable diversification opportunity for other farmers in Cornwall."
The project will also look into the possibility of working in collaboration with other firms in the organic sector on production, marketing and distribution. A site will also be sought for the new processing plant, which could provide a significant number of secure, year-round jobs if it goes ahead.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD