top of page

Cotswold Abattoir Study: 
Building Long Term Capacity and Resilience in Our Local Meat Supply Chains

Access to affordable and suitable abattoir facilities are crucial to the viability of livestock farms, conservation initiatives, meat businesses and our local food system. In 1970 there were 1146 abattoirs licensed to slaughter red meat livestock species in Great Britain, by 2020 the number had fallen to 213. We have lost more since then, particularly small/local abattoirs offering private kill services.

Farmers in the Cotswold area have benefited from a small number of local abattoirs including J Broomhall Ltd (Stroud), Muchmeats (Witney), Long Compton (Shipston-On-Stour) and Kings (Gloucester).

Without these facilities, and the skills of the people that run them, it becomes increasingly unviable for farmers, butchers, farm shops and hospitality providers to supply locally reared meat and added value products direct to customers. We will also lose emerging opportunities to feed wholesale markets including retail, schools, colleges and the NHS.

Pioneering and nature focused farmers developing regenerative farming and conservation grazing systems will lose their routes to market. Knowledge, livelihoods, businesses, rural communities, grazed habitats, livestock genetics, food provenance and food chains are all at risk too. Food miles will increase, and our push for net zero and effective landscape restoration will be hampered.

The sad news that Long Compton abattoir, which has served farmers across Gloucestershire, West Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and beyond, may close in 2024, is a critical blow. This announcement has led to a flurry of activity to try and save the abattoir and to consider alternative solutions. Time is of the essence and the sector must now pull together.

This study, coordinated by the North East Cotswolds Farmer Cluster, has been commissioned to help guide decision making, to explore how we can build long term capacity and resilience in our local meat supply chains, and to ensure our farmer members have a voice in any future abattoir developments.

The abattoir study is being supported by West Oxfordshire District Council and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

- Stakeholder Survey -
This survey is an important element of the study. 
All responses, whether you are a cluster member or otherwise, will help inform and guide future direction.

If you are a local farmer, grazier, butcher, slaughterman, retailer, wholesaler, chef, food campaigner, policy maker or funder, we would love to hear from you. All views are welcome.

bottom of page