Isle of Man abattoir confident over Tesco supply

The chief executive of the Isle of Man abattoir has said he is confident that the plant will be able to resume trade with Tesco in the near future.

The Isle of Man abattoir is the only slaughterhouse on the island and Tesco is one of its main customers. However, the supermarket recently said it could no longer take meat from the plant due to concerns over food safety standards. Tesco said that the decision was made following a routine inspection of the plant.

Speaking to the Meat Trades Journal, chief executive John Dawkins commented: “The problem has been largely two fold. First Tesco were not satisfied with our documentation, in other words our paperwork. We have pretty well sorted that out now. We have another technical assistant starting soon to resolve that. Tesco have very high standards but it does seem as if we need an army of managers to sort it all out.

“The second thing we have to do is to replace two of the metal detectors. The ones we have now do not automatically discarge into a locked cabinet. The new machines we have should arrive soon. After that we will have another audit with Tesco.

“However, I would like to assure customers that there has never been a problem with the standard of the meat or the hygiene at the plant.”

As the abattoir is the only one on the island, the Isle of Man government has also become involved in the case. Agriculture minister Phil Gawne has now met Tesco officials and he is confident that with changes made, the plant will pass a new audit.

He said:  “I believe 99 per cent of the issues raised by Tesco have been resolved. The island’s meat plant is fairly unique in that it processes many types of meat, including beef, pork and lamb. Tesco needs to understand and accommodate those differences and work with us to allow the meat plant to continue to supply the store.”

The future of the Isle of Man abattoir has been under discussion for some time, with the Isle of Man government considering a restructuring that would make it viable in the long term.

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