A £2million refurbishment of the Island's meat plant is essential for the agricultural industry, says the Manx National Farmers Union.
Brian Brumby, president of the MNFU, said: 'This refurbishment comes at a time when large investment is occurring at our competitors' plants in the UK. The ability for the Island to be able to process its own meat is likely to become more important in terms of food security. It is important that Manx farmers have the option of a local meat plant and currently make a significant contribution to the running of the plant through accepting reduced returns on their stock when compared to UK meat plants.'
Tynwald has agreed to spend £1.6million on the plant, with an additional £400,000 coming from the government's agricultural development fund, and a further £200,000 from the plant operators. The red meat industry is said to be worth over £10million a year.
Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne said: 'The importance of this facility to the Isle of Man cannot be overstated. It is essential that we have a plant to meet the demands of the Manx food industry and to ensure food security and the existence of a self-reliant food chain. Economically, the plant provides an important route to market for local farmers; without it, the only alternative is live export.'
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