The New Hampshire Meat Processing and Policy Bottleneck
On Friday, April 2, 2021, we hosted our monthly Network Cafe on the topic of local meat processing and policies in the Granite State. We discussed the processing bottleneck in the industry and how that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and spike in demand for local meat. The discussion was facilitated and attended by a variety of food system stakeholders, including a number of farmers, Rob Johnson of the NH Farm Bureau, Elaina Enzien of UNH Extension, Royann Bossidy and Colleen Smith of the Department of Health and Human Services's Food Protection Section, and Thomas Collaro of USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). Following brief presentations from Johnson, Enzein, Bossidy, and Smith, we opened the discussion to a general Q&A that brought up the various challenges and queries around the issue of local meat processing and policies, including an upcoming vote on New Hampshire HB 437, "establishing a committee to study the implementation of the meat inspection program," cooperative slaughter/processing models, the lack of local slaughter/processing training and labor force, and experiences from local livestock farmers. Watch the full discussion recording below and utilize the Network Cafe Summary HERE to navigate the recording and access various other resources and notes from the chat.
Learn more about our 2021 Network Cafe Series here, including information about next month's Network Cafe on the topic of Agricultural Commissions on Friday, May 7. If you would like to a submit a topic to be considered for an upcoming Network Cafe, click here to submit!