Owners of mobile slaughterhouse plan meatpacking facilities

HILO, Hawaii — Two meatpacking facilities might open on the Big Island next year following the success of the Hawaii Island Meat Cooperative’s mobile slaughterhouse.

The cooperative is planning the construction of a post-slaughter processing facility on the west side of the island, with a second such facility to open in East Hawaii further in the future, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday.

The mobile slaughterhouse began operations in April. Since then, it has processed thousands of pounds of livestock.

Cooperative President Mike Amado said 21 farms regularly bring their meat to be processed in the 36-foot (11-meter) slaughterhouse trailer.

“It’s about what we anticipated for just the slaughter service,” Amado said. “But we got a lot of demand for post-slaughter services.”

Currently, the cooperative only provides slaughter services and returns the animal carcasses to their owners to be processed elsewhere. But the cooperative has long harbored plans to offer chill, cut and wrap services, which, along with the slaughterhouse, would allow the cooperative to process island meat products from pasture to store shelves.

Those plans were made possible by multiple grants, some of which were contingent upon the success of the slaughterhouse unit, Amado said.

Amado said the grants likely will cover nearly all of the construction costs for the first facility, which are estimated between $300,000 and $400,000.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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