Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?  (Read 1033 times)

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« on: January 08, 2022, 11:22:14 am »
Hi happy new year

I'm just wandering how many here sell pork and if so how do you do it and really do you think its worth it? Currently I keep about 8 pigs in a paddock and sell the meat by the quarters and deliver them on the day I pick up at the abattoir but seeing as most people seem to have smaller freezers these days not everyone wants a quarter of a pig. On the last batch I had 3 pigs unsold a week before they went to the abbatoir and tbh the bill was larger than my income. Do many here sell cuts of meat individually? (eg a leg of pork  a few chops etc) If so whats sort of price do you charge and do they sell very well?

I chose to sell by the quarter because its a simple way to shift the meat, I imagine selling individual pork chops and a small amount of sausages is quite a hassle, but is it?  Obviously selling like this would require you to freeze or store the meat and then theres the issue of distributing it how do people do this? Do you need a chiller van and and or a license to do this or do you just ask that people collect the meat directly from your freezer? Lots of questions.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2022, 01:53:11 pm »
Personally I would have the whole lot made into bacon and sausages, those products are much easier to sell in whatever weights people would like, and I doubt you will find too much difficulty selling the lot - especially once people have tried them once.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2022, 02:38:58 pm »
Personally I would have the whole lot made into bacon and sausages, those products are much easier to sell in whatever weights people would like, and I doubt you will find too much difficulty selling the lot - especially once people have tried them once.

I do usually do half a pig in sausages (and the quarters each come with 2kg of sausages)  but obviously they're more expensive to make and I doubt I'd be able to pre sell hundreds of packs of sausages beforehand and distribute them all on the day of collection, therefore storage, distribution, legal matters and marketing all become more important.

I guess my best bet is to sell half my produce as pig quarters on collection day and try and sell the rest as individual products maybe- but at a higher price!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 02:42:31 pm by Hogwarts »

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2022, 08:59:51 am »
We only rear 3 pigs at a time, keep 1 for our own consumption and sell the other 2 as 4 halves. Buyers are lined up before ordering the weaners, usually the same people  :)

If for any reason we can't line up 4 buyers then we don't order the weaners. Despite having 4 freezers space is always limited - we are storing lamb, turkey and chicken as well - and can't really fit an extra pig in.

Tbh I have been seriously considering whether we should continue to do it as the abattoir/butchery and feed costs are escalating; we are now only just about covering costs.

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2022, 12:11:57 pm »
We only rear 3 pigs at a time, keep 1 for our own consumption and sell the other 2 as 4 halves. Buyers are lined up before ordering the weaners, usually the same people  :)

If for any reason we can't line up 4 buyers then we don't order the weaners. Despite having 4 freezers space is always limited - we are storing lamb, turkey and chicken as well - and can't really fit an extra pig in.

Tbh I have been seriously considering whether we should continue to do it as the abattoir/butchery and feed costs are escalating; we are now only just about covering costs.

Thats tough have you thought about increasing the price? A local well known very successful farm shop near me which specialises in 'naturally' grown ie outdoor organic meats sells pork at an eye watering 16/kg. So I think there is scope for higher prices.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2022, 06:31:02 pm »
We would have to increase the price considerably - atm we charge 150 per half pig + extra for any bacon curing and smoking costs. I'm not sure our customers - most of which are friends or work colleagues - would really want to pay any more. I'm sure some of them just buy to support us, although we do get 100% positive feedback about the taste - best they've ever had etc etc which is always nice to hear.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2022, 07:09:22 pm »
We sell individual cuts of meat.  Mostly beef but now and again we do a few pigs.
Iirc we sold at 10/kg last time.

It is more work than selling whole /half animals but it depends how you want to run your business if it is worth it or not.

I'm pretty sure you need to be registered with your council as a food business if you are selling meat regardless of whether you are selling by the half animal or individual joints.
Transporting it is no problem, you just have to ensure you keep it at the right temperature so putting it in a poly box will do for an hour or 2 (and checking with a thermometer).
There council environmental health were happy for us to take frozen meat to a market in a poly box.

If you are doing several pigs at once you may have trouble freezing it fast enough (a freezer packed full of meat can take a week or more to freeze the bits in the middle).  Our butcher has a blast freezer which helps solve that problem.

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2022, 03:22:12 pm »


"I'm pretty sure you need to be registered with your council as a food business if you are selling meat regardless of whether you are selling by the half animal or individual joints. "

Thats interesting I thought you only needed a license if you are selling/ transporting frozen meats, I thought meat straight from the abbatoir to peoples houses required no such paperwork? Can anyone clarify this?

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Distributing storing and selling meat, is it worth it?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2022, 10:12:48 pm »
https://www.gov.uk/food-business-registration

"A food business is anyone preparing, cooking, handling, storing, distributing, supplying or selling food"

If your customers collect the meat directly from the abattoir or butcher then you probably have a decent arguement that you do none of the above.
If you collect the meat then take it to the customer then you are certainly distributing food.  If the meat is vac packed and you are taking it directly to the customer then environmental health may consider you low risk and not be all that bothered but I'm sure they will still want you to register.

It's not a license you need, simply a registration with the council (which didn't cost us anything).

 

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