New meat plant proposal for Isle of Man

Plans have been submitted for a new meat plant on the Isle of Man, which aims to provide an alternative route for meat producers on the island.

William and Lynda Christian of Lynwill Farms Ltd have proposed a modern animal processing facility on the site of a former piggery at Ellerslie Farm, Crosby, which would have an annual throughput of 25,000 lambs and 2,500 cattle.  

William Christian said: “We’re doing it as we’re frustrated with the current situation on the island, the monopoly of the meat plant and the prices we’re paying.”

He claims that farmers currently receive 25-40% less than the market price. He wants to establish his own brand to supply processed and packaged meat directly to the supermarkets and retail outlets on the island and the mainland. He said that he would be able to recoup more if they were able to consolidate the business.

He said: “Farmers are disillusioned here.”

The Christians' son, Pentii, has written a letter in support of the application, saying that the exisiting meat plant at Tromode, the Isle of Man Meats, is “incapable of providing a cost-effective service to Manx producers and retailers”.

Until December last year, importation of beef and lamb was limited on the Isle of Man, which meant that at least 80% of available beef and all lamb was produced on the island. Since the end of the meat derogation, there has been an increase in meat imported to the island.

The Tromode plant, which is run as a co-operative, restructured earlier this year following significant losses.