Local Meat Processing Plants Go Mobile

New project in the Northeast provides crucial infrastructure for sustainable agriculture.

With local, small scale slaughterhouses closing under the burden of costly regulations, there is growing need within the independent farming community – who tend to raise far fewer animals using more sustainable practices – for affordable and accessible infrastructure to help them get their meat to market. Currently many farmers face lengthy travel to get these facilities, which adds to the overall cost, limited availability, in terms of number of the number of animals they can bring at one time and scheduling difficulties that sometimes require them to make appointments up to a year in advance, a real problem if their livestock hasn’t reached proper weight by that time or is ready earlier than expected. Together these factors create a nearly impossible situation for farmers, who already deal in a business of variables and unknowns.

In an effort to fill that void, Glynwood, an organization that supports sustainable agricultural practices in the Northeast, has developed a mobile modular slaughterhouse called the Modular Harvest System (MHS). The 53-foot trailer has been engineered with four modules that mirror in miniature the end-to-end capabilities of a full scale processing plant, including preparation, refrigeration and disposal, as well as a small office for an on-site USDA inspector, which is required by law.

The unit is designed to dock at predetermined sites throughout the region, with the first site located in New York State’s Delaware County, with a goal of having five operating within the next two years. In the future, these locations could be expanded into full-service hubs, incorporating butchering and distribution facilities, alongside produce markets and community kitchens.

Glynwood’s Modular Harvest System

[via The City Fix]

image via Adrian Boliston

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