Freeman Catering Butchers gets funding

Freeman Catering Butchers has been awarded over £155,000 through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to help develop an integrated supply chain to stock local producers.

The investment from the RDPE is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union and will allow Freeman to invest in the supply chain by improving facilities at its Team Valley site in Gateshead. The grant will help create 10 new jobs.

Freeman director Daniel Freeman said: “Reports have shown us that there is an increased demand for red meat and for local provenance. This is why we decided to make a strategic decision to invest in the business and move away from buying pre-cut product to carcase, ensuring that we have the equipment and skilled staff in place ready to grow the business in this way.

“This RDPE grant is essential to achieve our long-term aims, increasing our viability as a business and also bringing rewards for the region’s supply chain and local farmers.”

The new project will not only strengthen the red meat supply chain, it is said, but will also provide environmental benefits, increase demand and provide better-quality meat from sustainable sources for hotel chains, restaurants and pubs on a national basis.

The firm is managed by James and Daniel Freeman, grandsons of the founder, who launched the business as a South Shields butcher shop in 1953.

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