Expected to cost nearly £3 million and to create up to 50 jobs once fully operational, the project has attracted an £802,000 agricultural and processing grant from the Scottish Executive.
Further financial support is being sought from the local Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise agency.
Mr Sutherland's firm, Caithness Beef and Lamb, already operates the former council abattoir in Wick but this will be closed once the new facility comes on stream.
"The existing abattoir is just for slaughtering but the new plant would also do the cooking, smoking and the making of different types of sausages, puddings and haggis," he explained. There was a "big possibility" that the new facility would slaughter for the Mey Selections food brand launched last year by the Prince of Wales, he added.
Mr Sutherland will shortly seek planning permission for the proposed 2000 sq metre facility, which will target a weekly throughput of 100 cattle and upwards of 500 sheep.
He expects construction to begin in June this year, with start-up plant envisaged for early next year. The new plant will be export compliant, with Mr Sutherland identifying the Faroe Islands and Scandinavia as potential overseas markets.