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22.05.06
Beef and lamb industry receives millions

The red meat industry in Cornwall is receiving huge support with millions of pounds of Objective One investment being used to create jobs, increase quality and strengthen demand.

The Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) is being used to strengthen Cornwall's beef and lamb industry in a number of ways including investment in improving and building abattoirs. This in turn is increasing the demand for red meat, boosting revenue by millions of pounds, helping to fill farmers' order books and guarantee and create jobs.

According to Roger Metcalf, dairy coordinator at the Cornwall Agricultural Council Development Team, Objective One has invested almost £3 million in more than £6 million of projects in the red meat sector. This investment does not include business support via gateway funds, such as Taste of the West Cornwall and Business Link and investment in pasty makers such as Ginsters, WC Rowe, Crantock Bakeries and many others.

Mr Metcalf said: "The effects of Objective One are clearly visible in the food industry in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with quality on the rise thanks to investment in producers via marketing, business support, equipment and premises.

"Now the red meat industry is seeing the effect of Objective One support. As investment is being put into abattoirs and meat processing there is now a greater ability to add value. By increasing capacity more animals can be slaughtered - including cow beef - and processed locally rather than having to be sent away. Better chillers mean better carcasses and the meat can be more efficiently stored and matured, which all adds to the quality and thereby the value of the meat itself."

One example of expansion is HR Jasper and Son Ltd, which has received investment to improve two abattoirs near Launceston, one for beef at Treburley and one for lamb at Botathan. More than £500,000 from the Objective One EAGGF has been committed towards a project worth more than £1.5million. This will include the construction of a plant for the treatment of the site's wastewater, the construction of a new skins storage area, the adaption of the old abattoir to provide more chilling capacity and the purchase of new equipment. It is estimated the improvements will create about 12 new jobs and more than £1 million of extra revenue.

Michael Armstrong, financial controller for both Treburley and Botathan, said: "The Objective One investment has given us the flexibility to commence various projects within similar time scales, whilst not relying solely on our working capital to fund the projects. This process has helped us to condense four year's worth of capital investment into eighteen months to two years. The expansion of the chill facilities at Treburley also allowed us to offer increased weekly kill capacity, benefiting the producer by helping to reduce mileage costs to slaughter, which in some cases is a barrier cost for the producer.

"Similar capacity benefits will be invested into the lamb plant and both plants will, as a result of the Objective One investment be able to effectively process their waste water into a clean permeate, of which at least 40% will be recycled for use at the abattoirs."

James Kittow runs Kilhallon Quality Meats Ltd, of Par, along with Mr Kittow's Famous Sausage Company - a fifth generation butchers. At Kilhallon abattoir just over £70,000 of Objective One EAGGF is being invested in a project worth almost £650,000 that will see new buildings and lairage (live animal storage areas). It is estimated eight new jobs will be created from this project which will mean redundant buildings are transformed into top quality, bespoke facilities.

Kilhallon Quality Meat works closely with the Organic Livestock Farmers Cornwall and Devon (OLFCD), a farmers' cooperative.

Martin Davies, technical adviser for Organic South West, which promotes organic food and farming in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, explained the benefits of local abattoirs: "Normally OLFCD just sold livestock which then had to leave Cornwall after slaughtering for further processing in a certified organic cutting plant up country. This often meant travelling up to the Midlands or even further afield for processing with the resulting meat products ending up for sale in multiple retailers losing its Cornish identity. Hopefully this new collaboration will result in more Cornish red meat staying in the South West and more profits going back to the local producers."

RJ Trevarthen, wholesale butchers, is also expanding using Objective One investment. Roskrow abattoir and cutting facility, near Redruth, has an extension being built using just over £75,000 from the Objective One EAGGF. This will also be used for additional lairage, processing facilities, refrigeration and offices. Work is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

For further information please contact Clare Morgan on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Jaspers Integrated Site Expansion Project, Kilhallon Abattoir Development Project and Organic South West through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Martin Butler at Government Office South West on 01752 635134 before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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