An abattoir is a facility where livestock is slaughtered for the processes of meat preparation along with the production of other meat products. The meat and meat products produced are predominantly meant for the human food consumption market though other products and by-products are earmarked for other uses. With the incessant rise in the number of people starting livestock businesses it comes as no surprise why starting an abattoir is a strategic venture. Most livestock farmers still heavily rely on commercial abattoirs most of which are usually run poorly or are distant from them. Some of these abattoirs are in a deplorable state of filth thus posing health hazards for the subsequent consumers of products produced. This article shall take you along explaining how you can start an abattoir business and some abattoir business plan tips.

Approaches

There is a deliberate reason as to why we mentioned how some abattoirs are not hygienic. This is meant to show you a loop hole or gap that you as an aspiring entrepreneur can capitalize on. The most prudent approach will be to establish a small scale abattoir that offers service to a particular geographical location (i.e. communities or localities). This is akin to opening private abattoirs which is a strategy that neutralizes the effect of a somewhat saturated commercial market (referring to the big players here). The small scale aspect will help ease financial burden and also makes it easier to uphold high quality control standards.

Another benefit will be that you would have created convenience to most livestock farmers who cannot easily access abattoir services usually far from them. This is not to say that you cannot start on a large scale – if you have the funds then you can do it. Some of the most commonly slaughtered livestock are cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. Thus your core focus can be on any of these or all of them and even more. Some abattoirs also incorporate the slaughtering of birds which is a broad domain that includes birds like poultry. Though meat is the major focus for most abattoirs you can diversify into making meat products or by-products.

There is a whole load of by-products that can be produced by an abattoir. We believe that if aspiring abattoir business owners seriously look into this they can make a whole lot more money. One common by-product is offal which is a hit amongst many customers in several parts of the world. Not forgetting leather which is a high-value by-product made from cattle hides. Bones and rendered meat can be used in stock feeds and fertilizers. By-products such as gelatin (mainly from pigs) can be used in making medications. Animal fat can be used in the making of detergents whilst other by-products such as lanolin can be used in the making of beauty products. By-products must be taken very seriously in an abattoir business – do not just dispose certain things as waste. Your abattoir business plan should clearly specify which products your abattoir will deal with.

Market Research

This is a precursor to commencing business operations because there are things you must ascertain beforehand. You have to find out the availability of a market, its segmentation, its needs and its characteristic demographics such as location, scale of operations and the like. You must also study current players on how they are conducting business. We are looking at things like services offered, business processes, strategies, marketing approaches, pricing and so on. In your market research you must take time to find out about pertinent regulations that you are required to adhere to when operating an abattoir business. There are certain health and environmental certifications that one must acquire from relevant authorities. So you must research on that or better still you can find out from established players. This will help you come up with a well detailed abattoir business plan.

Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Abattoir Business Plan

The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The abattoir business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included in your abattoir business plan:

  1. The mission, vision and operational strategy
  2. Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
  3. A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
  4. A marketing and customer care plan
  5. An organizational chart and human resource policy
  6. A three-year expansion outlook
  7. A risk and rewards Analysis

Location And Premises

It is wise to establish the business close to livestock farming locations. This can actually give you a competitive edge over other abattoirs that might be situated quite far from livestock farmers. Be somewhere where there is an excellent road network for ease of accessibility. The actual place where the abattoir will be must have a reliable water source. For smooth disposal of effluent or other waste the terrain must be a gentle slope to avoid water logging or settling of waste in one place. The premises must be sufficiently large, well-lit, well-aerated and easily cleanable. The costs of purchasing or leasing the premises should be included in your abattoir business plan.

Equipment

There is a range of equipment required for the smooth running of this business. An abattoir business is technical and that is why specialized equipment is needed. Slaughtering machines and slaughtering tools are required – manual and automatic. Other handling equipment such as bins, knives, sinks; counter tops, trays, tables, weighing scales and so on are needed. Some of the specialized equipment necessary is scalding and de-hairing machines, conveyor belts, hoists, splitting saw, shears and scalding tanks. Trolleys, stunners, de-hiders, de-horners, rail systems, stunners, gambrels and protective clothing are also needed. As you can see there is a broad range of equipment needed which will depend on your funds, scale of operations or types of services you will be offering. The abattoir business plan should include the costs of acquiring the equipment.

Staff And Management

It is highly advised that you hire or outsource people with qualified expertise who know what they are supposed to do. As usual the management needs can be effectively run by you and family members where applicable. Generally the staff and management requirements are informed by your scale of operations. When looking for people to work with look out for people with qualifications in abattoir processes, abattoir supervision, slaughtering processes, meat examination and classification amongst other related skill sets. The salaries and wages of all your staff should be included in the abattoir business plan.

This must be enough information to equip you with the necessary traction to kick-start your abattoir business. Ensure you stick to high standards of hygiene and adhere to all regulatory requirements. The abattoirs industry is growing and as long as you keep in mind the details discussed herein you will definitely make it.