NEW MICRO ABATTOIR FOR SKYE AND LOCHALSH
In our past….
There was a time across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland when sustainable small scale crofting and farming communities were predominantly self-sufficient, co-operative and facilitated by small scale local facilities. In the case of local meat production, each township historically had a small slaughter house to which their animals could be walked - zero carbon footprint, low food miles, sustainable, food with a traceable identity and as local as it gets.
From the 1950’s to the 1990’s, the idea of local production was usurped by commercial, high volume, small profit margin farming. During this time, local slaughter facilities were closed and centralized, undermining the viability of hill farm and small croft meat production in remote areas. This also removed from the market meaningful access to locally produced meat products in these areas.
Our present dilemma…
For the Skye and Lochalsh region, a producer wishing to have an animal slaughtered requires transportation of up to 120 miles by land, or two hours by sea. As a result, the availability and meaningful access to any quantity of local meat products for local residents, businesses and tourists is severely restricted by the lack of access to regionally accessible infrastructure. This has been the case since the closure of the last micro abattoir on Skye in the 1990’s.
Since this closure there has been a core group of grass roots producer and consumer groups who have pursued the re-instatement of some facility or infrastructure to allow the development and growth of a local meat supply chain to satisfy the increasing demand for ‘low carbon, food with an identity, which is environmentally and economically sustainable in its production’.
Through the hard work and co-operative dedication of many people over the years, a new, appropriately scaled, fit for purpose slaughter facility for the region is on the cards. It the opposite of über commercialism – indeed the mission statement is ‘to operate as a service for Skye and Lochalsh meat producers, farmers and crofters. In doing so, minimizing the environmental impact, and optimizing animal welfare in local meat production.’
The project is about going back to basics, and providing the right solutions on a regional basis. It is about positively encouraging the agricultural, food and tourism communities to co-operatively take control of what is, at present, an uncertain farming future, through the opening of new opportunities and markets for which there is a demonstrated demand.
A dedication to Hector…
All those involved with bringing the abattoir project to fruition express gratitude to Hector MacLeod, Sconser, who died recently. Without his tenacity and determination over the last 20 years this project would not have progressed to the current stage.
For our future…
The Skye and Lochalsh Meat Supply Group has now secured full planning permission for a micro scale, fit for purpose abattoir to be built in Portree, Isle of Skye. The Skye and Lochalsh Micro Abattoir will be registered and incorporated as a Benefit of the Community Co-operative with an application for charitable status.
The operational model is to build and maintain a slaughter facility, incinerator and cutting plant. The throughput is to rise from 100 cows, 800 sheep and 130 pigs per annum to 200 cows, 4000 sheep and 130 pigs per annum. That is from 2 days of operation to 5 days of operation over a 5 year period. This will create 4 eventual full time jobs – 2 slaughtermen, 1 administrator and 1 manager.
The project is costed at £1.5M, and we intend to raise at least 7% of this total through local donations, events and a Crowd Funding Appeal.
Thankyou for your support…
The Crowd Funding Appeal was launched on St. Andrew's Day at a very special dinner. The Skye Chefs St. Andrew’s Day Dinner 2016 is a new idea from Chef Scott Davies and Team Three Chimneys to create an annual event on the Skye social and charity calendar.
The idea is to bring together more Skye Chefs and hospitality suppliers and collaborators each year to foster a sense of community and camaraderie. In the spirit of St. Andrew's charity and generosity, all proceeds from the dinner will be donated to a nominated cause each year.
Many thanks to Scott Davies and Jennifer Hines from The Three Chimneys, James Dixon from the Skeabost Isle of Skye Hotel and Calum Montgomery from Ullinish Country Lodge for making The Skye and Lochalsh Micro Abbattoir Crowd Funding Appeal, the beneficiaries of this year’s event.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Skye and Lochalsh Micro Abattoir project, can find us on…
You can also register for updates and pledge support at: www.skyelochalshabattoir.com
Enjoy the full story of this special evening right here: SKYE CHEFS ST.ANDREW’S DAY DINNER 2016 EVENT PROGRAMME