4 Nov 2016

Oxville Farms

From Country Life, 9:20 pm on 4 November 2016
David Anderson

David Anderson Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

It all sounded very simple.

David Anderson, his son Neil and Neil's wife Leah Stone decided they needed to make a living out of their small farm at Hikurangi in Northland.

The lamb price was up and down and they couldn't work out what their animals would bring in from one year to the next, so their answer was to build an abattoir on their farm.

"We said, 'oh well, we'll market our own sheep'... the paddock to plate sort of idea and traceability and that sort of thing," David says.

The farmers wanted to add value to their animals and not have to accept the going rate from big meat processors.

However building an abattoir wasn't as easy as they thought.   

"We finally made it. We read a few books and asked Uncle Google and we sort of got it organised. If we went to build it now we'd build it a lot differently....we know just about enough now to start building one really, " David laughs.

The tiny abattoir can put through 30 animals a day and has processed goats, rare and not-so-rare breeds of cattle, pigs, buffaloes and alpacas.

It's believed do be the only licensed abattoir of its size in New Zealand.

"I think it is unique...I don't think there's another one .... I'm sure years ago there used to be but then they all got sort of bought out and closed down and this is sort of going back to the original way of doing things again."

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