THE future of local abattoirs will be under the spotlight at the Scottish Smallholder Festival’s ‘Big Issue’ debate, sponsored by Rare Breeds Survival Trust, on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Forfar Mart.

This event is a chance for people with an interest in food and farming to join the discussion, after an RBST survey of smallholders and farmers found that the lack of suitable abattoirs is seen as a key barrier to future growth for rare breed businesses in Scotland.

Read more: Scottish Smallholder Festival will be live at Forfar Mart

'The Big Issue – Local Abattoirs in Scotland', will begin at 12 noon in the main ring, with panellists from organisations including RBST, The Princes Countryside Fund, Scottish Butchers Federation and Downfield Abattoir, and The Scottish Farmer's Claire Taylor in the chair.

The discussion will examine the challenges for the local abattoir network in Scotland, explore what the future holds for the abattoir-smallholder relationship, and discuss opportunities for reviving local abattoir provision.

RBST vice president Scotland, Martin Beard, said: “This is an exciting time for smallholders producing meat from rare breeds in Scotland. Growing consumer interest in the quality, provenance and environmental credentials of the meat they eat suits smallholders’ production very well. However, finding abattoirs nearby which provide the right services is a growing challenge for those of us with rare breeds of livestock."

Read more: Local abattoirs in crisis

Entry to the festival is free but visitors over the age of 12 need to obtain their free tickets from the festival website prior to entry. See for more information.