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Revamping Jersey Farmers: Abattoir Closure’s £250,000 Christmas Blow to farming Community

Abattoir Closure's £250,000 Christmas Blow to Farmers
The cutting room.

Revamping Jersey: Abattoir Closure’s £250,000 Christmas Blow to Farmers

Jersey’s farming community faces an impending crisis in the lead-up to Christmas as the closure of the island’s abattoir casts a staggering financial shadow, potentially costing farmers up to £250,000.

The shutdown follows extensive damage inflicted during Storm Ciarán, requiring substantial repairs to its roof and electrical infrastructure.

Authorities indicate that the abattoir won’t resume operations until at least Monday, December 18, leaving farmers grappling with dire repercussions.

Amidst this upheaval, one farmer shared with ITV News the substantial impact:

I’ve had to email many of my customers to let them know that I will be unable to supply them with their Christmas orders.

This sentiment echoes across the farming landscape, exemplified by Trinity Manor Farm, housing around 450 milking cows, anxiously waiting to dispatch 12 animals to the abattoir.

The closure imposes significant challenges, forcing farmers to house and feed these animals while bearing additional costs.

Jim Carter, the manager at Trinity Manor Farm, underscores the pressing concerns: “We’ve readied these animals for December’s slaughtering, and now we’re compelled to retain and feed them.

The closure’s impact is substantial, particularly in terms of costs.”

His worry extends beyond immediate financial implications, contemplating the long-term consequences.

He voices apprehension that local support for Jersey’s produce might wane if the shelves lack local products, potentially driving consumers to seek alternative beef sources elsewhere.

Jersey’s Infrastructure Minister, Deputy Tom Binet, expressed sympathy for the affected businesses, affirming the ongoing efforts to reinstate operations at the abattoir.

Despite acknowledging the challenges faced by workers, he remains optimistic about the site’s eventual restoration, albeit conceding that plans for a temporary mobile abattoir are unfeasible due to the anticipated re-opening of the existing facility.

Moreover, Deputy Binet hinted at plans for a future purpose-built abattoir, addressing concerns about the current facility’s age and its potential mismatch with existing market demand.

However, he refrained from committing to a definitive timeline for this envisaged project, acknowledging that its realization remains some distance away.

The ramifications of the closure reverberate across various segments of Jersey’s farming landscape.

At Brooklands Farm in St. Brelade, specialised in breeding pigs, shop manager Katy Hackett outlined the dire consequences of the abattoir’s closure.

With a surplus of pigs awaiting processing and the costs of feeding these animals doubling post-Brexit, the farm faces a critical dilemma.

Unable to supply Christmas orders and grappling with overhead expenses, the closure’s impact looms large, amplifying the financial strain.

The closure of the abattoir casts a formidable shadow over Jersey’s farming community, eliciting concerns not only about immediate financial losses but also about the potential long-term implications for local produce availability and sustainability.

 

 


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