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Montevideo, February 22nd 2024 - 10:38 UTC



Falklands: Sheep industry global downturn resurfaces debate on the abattoir

Tuesday, January 23rd 2024 - 10:51 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The FIMCO facilities and abattoir meant to help Falklands traditional sheep farming The FIMCO facilities and abattoir meant to help Falklands traditional sheep farming

The decision by the Falkland Islands Executive Council, and approved by the Standing Finance Committee, to provide additional financing of £1 million to the Falkland Islands Meat Company (FIMCO), has not been without controversy.

The additional funding, which also came with some strings, was explained saying that FIMCO is facing increasing challenges on the global meat market and the additional competition by other international meat sellers. And in order to retain and attract to new market conditions, FIMCO is also working towards full British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Halal Food Authority (HFA) accreditation.

However Gerald Cheek an Islander with a prodigious memory and experience, wrote a letter in the Penguin News saying that with “the benefit of hindsight, given the fact that the Ajax bay Abattoir failed back in the 1950`s, why did we go and build another one?”

Likewise Brian Rowlands, in another comment wrote, “at what point will someone in government admit that it has never been, and probably never will be profitable to export meat? Why are the 1000 odd Falkland islander tax payers , paying tens of £millions for foreigners to eat meat subsidized, by them ?”

However, Margaret Goss points out that “Brian Rowlands and farmers getting paid peanuts for their carcasses,... this day and age we should be looking at more than £10 or £15 for a wether carcass,...without the FIMCO abattoir many farms will go broke, but it needs scaling down, more money goes into wages than the farmers bank A/C ,forget about export set up a unit that produces pet food and fertilizer then it would see some profit.”

Finally we should add that sheep farming is going through a miserable moment, both for wool and meat, mainly because of an excess flock and production in Australia and the Chinese economy contraction. Hopefully things will improve in the near future, and FIMCO can access new markets including as suppliers of MPA


Top Comments

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  • Falklands-Free

    Real problem is when the abbatoir was established the thinkers set their goals too high. Joining the EU accreditation system need not have happened. Wrongly calculating the surplus sheep availability against replacement stock and losses were badly calculated. Requiring a seasonal killing period was a mistake even though farmers said they could not hold surplus sheep that long.
    Far to many employed in the industry eating up huge amounts of money.
    Shipping is expensive. Far better to have scaled it down to the local market and stopped importing red meat from other countries.
    Could and should have set up a pet food system for waste carcass products.
    A whole lot of errors in a rush to get established listening to far too many experts.
    Not looking at history.
    It was obvious that also one day the product will become less available if we have a few bad planning years.
    The prices are set high to cover these overhead costs which could be halved in a smaller scale.
    Then more people would buy the product. Added to that there is a campaign to go green and not eat red meat. Stupid idea in a sheep producing country. Ah but that's experts for you.

    Jan 23rd, 2024 - 11:19 am 0
  • portman

    brian rowlands is right. the local taxpayer is funding the diet of both the overseas and local carnivores. if the fishing industry had been up and running in the 1950s it would not have been necessary to close ajax bay. the building of the abattoir cost £8m from public funds and operating it has cost on average £1/2m pa again from public funds. thanks mainly to the fishing industry for producing the bulk of the income necessary to subsidse the abottoir and other money draining initiatives!

    Jan 23rd, 2024 - 05:42 pm 0
  • Tænk

    Good thing you got that Halal accreditation..., Kelpers...

    - Now you can sell all your Halal Hogget Meat to them Muslim Kosovo Troops you are training in them Isles to kill Christian Serbian troops...


    Jan 23rd, 2024 - 09:27 pm -4
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