Comparing Local/Regional Meatpacking Infrastructure to Large Centralized Slaughter Plants
Nearly 500 30-head-a-day multi-species slaughter plants, with a combined single shift capacity of 14,000, could be built for the cost of the proposed Sustainable Beef/Walmart plant in North Platte, Nebraska. Additional benefits to the lower cost of this model are:
- Better for animals – The Callicrate plant design locates slaughter facilities where animals are raised, reducing stress and shrink.
- Better for workers: Skilled, well compensated butchers, are more efficient, processing more animals per worker per day, while working at a safe pace in the simple and low cost plant design.
- Better for the environment – More responsible resource management: 30 to 50 gallons of water per animal processed, compared to over 700 gallons for the big plants. Slaughter waste is an asset, not a liability. It is composted onsite into valuable fertilizer. Reducing food miles – fewer and larger slaughter plants has meant animals now travel much further to slaughter.
- Better food safety and quality: Beef carcasses are properly aged, producing a safer, more consistent, higher quality product.
- Better for small business – Small community butcher shops process carcasses into final retail and wholesale cuts, eliminating “The Box.”
- Better for Producers: Selling more direct, bypassing the meatpacker/retail/foodservice cartel, provides more income for producers. Producers selling direct can earn nearly 80% of the consumer beef dollar, compared to 37% selling to big meatpackers.
- Better for communities: The Callicrate decentralized model is simple, affordable and regenerative. It conserves and better manages resources, while retaining far more of the wealth created through agriculture in rural communities instead of distant financial centers.
Why build more packing plants designed around the extractive industrial model?
Local/regional supply chains provide healthier, more sustainable food options, feeding producers, workers, and communities instead of corporations. Well designed local/regional food systems are less vulnerable to disruption, providing the critical food security lost from decades of food system concentration and hyper-globalization.
What does a better meat industry look like?
Skilled butchers processing carcasses means better jobs, affordable prices, and safer, higher quality food for communities, both rural and urban.
Connecting the Community at the Source of Their Food
Story of the Steer – Big meatpackers and retailers trade lower efficiency for higher profits