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selling pork from the farm gate

Mr Mac 111
by Mr Mac 111
Hi all,
I Am sure this subject has been covered before but here goes any way.

I would like to take my pigs to the abbotior where they will kill butcher & pack them for me. I would like to know if I can lawfully sell the pork from the farm gate & if I need to inform any local authorities. Thanks in advance.

Mr Mac

Ps I do not live on site but am near by.
last edited on
Mr Mac 111
#1
by Mr Mac 111
Anyone got any idea.

Mr Mac
muck equals brass
#2
by muck equals brass
You can lawfully sell your meat direct from the farm but as usual there are a few hoops to jump through first. We have recently started selling beef and found the regulations a bit daunting at first but the procedure is quite simple.

At least 28 days before you intend to start selling the pork you must inform your local environmental health dept. You must fill a form in and send it to them in order to register as a food business. They may want to come and inspect your setup to ensure that the hygiene regulations are being followed.


Usually (but not always) a farmer can sell meat from the farm without planning permission because it is considered ancillary to agriculture.

There are of course other things to consider like refrigeration facilities, labelling regs, records for traceability and regs regarding accurate weighing etc.

A lot depends really on whether you will be selling to just friends and family or advertising and selling to the general public. The rules are the same but you can probably get away with more if it's just to mates.
Mr Mac 111
#3
by Mr Mac 111
Thankyou for your reply I will loook intoo it.

Mr Mac.
Winding Wood
#4
by Winding Wood
Depending on how you're going to split up the meat this may not be any help, but my understanding (based on what we were told on our piggy course, not any legislation that I've read) is that if you sell somebody a whole pig in advance you can deliver it to them straight from the abattoir without breaking any regulations. The problem comes when you take it home and sell it from there in bits and pieces, because then you're a meat distributor and all the legislation kicks in. We take this one step further and sell half or quarter pigs in advance but we don't get into weighing out chops and all that sort of thing.
www.windingwoodcottage.co.uk Hungerford, Berkshire
muck equals brass
#5
by muck equals brass
Wherever it is sold from you still have to register as a food business unless the customer collects from the abattoir or the abattoir delivers it direct to your customer irrespective of whether it's a whole pig or cut up. If you collect the whole pig and deliver to a customer then you are a food business operating from your vehicle.

If you're supplying a whole, half or quarter pig (or even family freezer boxes of cuts) you don't have to get into regs regarding weights etc. If you sell boxes of cuts then there are minimum labelling requiremts e.g storage instructions, use by date, name of the food, name and address of retailer etc. If you sell seperate cuts then the same labelling regs apply (see food.gov.uk) together with net weight, price per kg and price per pack.

Hope this helps Mr Mac.
Winding Wood
#6
by Winding Wood
The logic as I saw it was that if you sell the pig before it's killed you aren't selling meat. You sell the pig, then get it killed and butchered and pick it up on behalf the new owner. On the other hand maybe that sounds too much like avoiding the regulations to be acceptable to the powers that be!
www.windingwoodcottage.co.uk Hungerford, Berkshire
doniv
#7
by doniv
That looks like great logic to me Winding Wool. There may be some issues re - refrigerated transport, since you're now a Haulier ! - but remember we;re talking about very small scale operations & these are "Regulations" Not "Laws" - Usually the "Oh I'm sorry, didn't realise - I won't do it again - Thanks for telling me" card works the first time

& of course, if nobody "Spot-checks" you, on the road, there's no problem anyway - is there ?
'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind. - Shakespear - King Lear
muck equals brass
#8
by muck equals brass
I agree donthre. if you get caught bending the rules you will only get a mild bollocking and be told do get it right in future. I don't however see what the problem is with complying in the first place.

The regs for us small scale producers are very easy to comply with. I have complied (I think) but have not done anything I wouldn't have done anyway. Registration is free, I don't need a refrigerated vehicle as I don't transport the meat far enough (you can take properly packed red meat, including pork, for miles without refrigeration)and a second hand scale is very cheap. I did invest in a small cold store but only because I can't get a cow in the kitchen fridge. One important point though is that my meat is vac packed in a licensed cutting room - if you handle unpacked meat then the rules are slightly more onerous but not expensive to comply with nor insurmountable.

Another little known regulation is that if there is a licensed cutting room in your area (e.g at the abattoir) then it is an offence (for both you and the butcher) to get a local butcher to cut the meat for you.
doniv
#9
by doniv
That's interesting meb - what distance is the "local area" rule for the cutting room ? - does it specify ?
'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind. - Shakespear - King Lear
muck equals brass
#10
by muck equals brass
sadly it doesn't specify. The following paras were copied from advice given to Scottish trading standards by the Food Standards Agency however it is European Law and equally applicable in England. I guess if the abattoir you use has a cutting plant and they will do the work then we should use it or use another local cutting plant
Quote : Therefore, a butcher who cuts meat on a farmer's behalf and returns it to him for onward sale, cannot be exempted from licensing under the MHR since he is not selling the meat to the final consumer from the premises where it was cut, or in accordance with the 1992 guidance. A butcher carrying out this activity could be prosecuted under the MHR for operating an unlicensed cutting premises.The legal position is therefore clear: farmers wishing to have meat cut for direct sale
to the public should use premises licensed under the MHR and local authorities have a responsibility to enforce this requirement appropriately. However, in areas where licensed cutting premises are not available or not willing to undertake this work, the Agency acknowledges that it may not be possible for farmers readily to comply with
the law. Local authorities are entitled to take into account such practical difficulties and exercise discretion – provided this is exercised on a rational and consistent basis in deciding whether or not enforcement action should be taken in a particular case. Recognition of the discretion available to enforcement authorities in such circumstances is nothing new: it has never been the case that formal enforcement action has to be taken in the case of every contravention.
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