[montanafood_ag] Small Slaughterhouses Continue to Decline

Kristina Hubbard kristina.hubbard at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 11:49:17 MDT 2009


 Despite Rising Consumer Demand for Healthy Meat Products, Small
Slaughterhouses Continue to Declinesource:
http://www.extension.org/pages/Despite_Rising_Consumer_Demand_for_Healthy_Meat_Products,_Small_Slaughterhouses_Continue_to_Decline

 Last Updated: June 29, 2009 Related resource areas: Small Meat
Processors<http://www.extension.org/small%20meat%20processors>

View as web page<http://www.extension.org/pages/Despite_Rising_Consumer_Demand_for_Healthy_Meat_Products,_Small_Slaughterhouses_Continue_to_Decline>

 A new report identifies the reasons for the disappearance of small plants,
presents examples of the next generation of processors and offers policy
solutions to rebuild the small slaughterhouse sector of the meat industry.

Released June 24, 2009

Washington, D.C.— A new report issued today by Food & Water Watch examines
how the slow demise of local small slaughter and processing operations in
the United States is preventing farmers and ranchers from fully satisfying
rising consumer demand for meat from sustainably raised livestock. Entitled
Where’s the Local Beef?, the report identifies the reasons for the
disappearance of small plants, presents examples of the next generation of
processors and offers policy solutions to rebuild the small slaughterhouse
sector of the meat industry.

“The decline of small slaughter and processing operations in the U.S. is
part of a general trend in agriculture toward the industrial model of food
production,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.
“A variety of public policies, including USDA food safety regulations,
economic development programs and rules governing livestock markets must
change in order to level the playing field for small meat plants.”

*Key findings of the report include*

   - Small slaughter and processing operations have been closing across the
   country because of industry consolidation, low profit margins, the
   complexities of federal regulation and difficulty disposing of slaughter
   byproduct.


   - Small slaughter operators are expected to adhere to a regulatory
   framework that is biased toward large, corporate facilities that can afford
   the expensive techniques and equipment now incorporated into government
   inspection requirements.


   - Changes to USDA’s meat inspection program to help rebuild local meat
   processing infrastructure that include providing resources for small plants
   such as generic food safety plans, performing microbiological testing based
   on the volume of production and conducting investigations to find the source
   of contamination when it is first detected at small plants that do not
   slaughter animals.

“Despite the odds stacked against them, some small slaughterhouses and
processors are finding ways to survive,” said Hauter. “It’s time for USDA
and other government agencies to make sure that their policies work for more
than just the largest players in the meat industry.”

Where’s the Local Beef? is available online at
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/wheres-the-local-beef.

Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer organization based in Washington,
D.C., works to ensure clean water and safe food in the United States and
around the world. For more information, visit
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org.

--30--

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/press/releases/despite-rising-consumer-demand-for-healthy-meat-products-small-slaughterhouses-continue-to-decline20090624

Contacts: Patty Lovera or Erin Greenfield, (202) 683-2500

 More information

small meat processors <http://www.extension.org/small%20meat%20processors>
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