Coming this spring to NW Washington, a fully staffed, self-contained, WSDA-certified Mobile Poultry Processing Unit or “MPPU” thanks to funding from the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Sustainable Whatcom Fund.
Pastured poultry has long been recognized as a viable enterprise for diversified family farms. In order to access markets, farmers must have their birds processed. Whether direct marketing, retail, or wholesale, there are specific processing regulations that must be followed and stringent guidelines for the facilities used.
For most small and mid-sized producers, legal options for processing birds, in any form beyond just whole and sold on the farm, meant transporting birds to a local custom slaughter facility, or going to the expense of building a facility on-farm. With the closing of the last remaining northwest Washington custom processor in October last year, local poultry businesses not already possessing their own processing facility are faced with either building a licensed facility and obtaining costly product liability insurance, or shutting down operations altogether.
To be eligible to use this unit, producers will need to have a WSDA Food Processors License, and complete a training workshop. The unit itself will carry liability insurance, allowing poultry producers to acquire coverage through their individual farm policy.
Check out the press release from Northwest Ag Business Center for more details.