How to Start a Small Meat Processing Business

Meat processing, storage and distribution are highly regulated by governments. The business is carried out small scale and large scale.
Processing plants needs to pass strict hygiene and environmental inspection and certification. The main advantage of processed meat is increased shelf life through packaging, preservation and heat treatment.
To start your meat processing business every aspect of the process is important. You need to understand the basics, hire a consultant and follow fast changing trends.
The type of equipment depends on your funding and business template. Equipment's used in meat processing companies are manual, semi-automated and fully automated machinery.
Process Meat Products
Processed meat products are salted and ingredients are added to improve taste. They are processed raw, cooked, filled in casting.
Some meat products are raw, cooked or cured. Therefore meat is processed raw, canned, dried, fermented, precooked and cured.
There are many products meat processing companies make. The production process is slightly different depending on the product.
Processed meat goes through cutting, grinding, stuffing and packaging. Meat products include sausages, hotdogs, ham, and canned beef.
The different meat products depend on the processing technology and methodology used to achieve a finished product. Meat goes through curing, cooking, pre-cooking fermentation and drying.
Freshly processed meat products are made into hamburgers, sausage and nuggets. Cured meat pieces are made into raw ham, raw cured beef.
Precooked products include mortadella, lyoner and meat loaf. Raw fermented sausage produce salami while dried meat is made into beef jerky and meat floss.
A List of Processed Meat Products
There are different meat products based on the method used in processing the product. Here are a list of meat products based on the technology and function.
Dried Meat Products
Dried meat goes through dehydration, lean meat are stripped of fat cut and dried. Some dried meats are biltong, and meat floss.
Raw Fermented Meat and Precooked Meat
A list of raw fermented meat is raw fermented sausage, and Naem. Precooked meat products are liver pate, corned beef, and blood sausage.
Raw meat includes hotdogs, sausage, and meat loaf while cured meats are cured raw ham, and other cured meat products.
Packaging of Meat Products
The main purpose of packaging meat is to avoid contaminants such as dirt, micro-organisms, and toxic substances. Packaging enhances the products taste, aroma and preservation.
 Other methods used to increase shelf life are heat treatment, sterilization processes and refrigeration.  Common packaging material is synthetic polythene and canning.
The synthetic material should have an outer and inner layer. This is needed to create a good barrier against oxygen and evaporation.
The synthetic material you choose should be low cost, easily sealed, a good barrier and oil resistant. Other properties include flexibility, light weight, odorless, resistant to different temperatures including mechanical strength.
More packaging material self serve tray, single layer film, and multi-layer film. Others are vacuum bags, molded bottom film vacuum packs, modified atmosphere packaging and skin packaging.
Packaging Material
Modified atmosphere packaging
Skin packaging
Multiplayer film
Single layer film
Equipment used to Process Meat
The meat processing company is at liberty to purchase large or small machinery. The production, packaging and output depend on the type of machinery and capacity.
Some basic machinery used in meat processing plants is sausage linker, meat grinder, electric or hydraulic sausage stuffer. More equipment’s are meat mixer, automatic rapid patty maker, vacuum sealer, hydrator, easy slider and dehydrator.
List of Equipment
Electric meat grinder
Vacuum seal
Sausage linker
Sausage stuffer
A Simple Production Facility
The cleanliness of the meat production facility is mandatory.  A very high level of personal hygiene and safety equipment is important.
The range of products determines the type of equipment installed in your facility. Majority of the equipment are either manually operated or powered by electricity.
The production facility should have a processing table, shelf and kitchen equipment. You need weight equipment, provide proper drainage system. Install the equipment you need and have cleaning disinfectants.
Marketing the Meat Product
Your product needs to pass the national food and drug certification including environmental protection and sanitation laws.
Employ branding and register your business enterprise. Use advertisements in print and electronic media to reach customers.
Produce high quality products and employ sales agents. Offer discounts, bulk purchase orders and coupons.
Buy the proper machinery and secure trade license, funding and local government permits. Other things needed are ideal location and good packaging materials.
Sell your products to supermarkets, grocery stores and malls. Discus with other meat shops in your area for supply deals.
You need a good marketing strategy to sell your products. You need to keep abreast of fluctuating prices and market trends. Chicken Farming Business

Meat Processing Business Plan: How to Write a Meat Processing Business Plan

There are a large number of meat farms in comparison to meat processing companies. The large disparity is due to serious regulatory laws governing meat processing business.
Meat processing is market driven, capital intensive and goes through regular inspection. Small business owners need to write a meat processing business plan before launching their enterprise.
The plan should include type of product and service. Others are marketing plan, growth potential, storage, distribution and permits.
Things to consider are plant size, equipment, company structure and estimated costs. Develop a financial plan to cover property, equipment, livestock and labor costs.
Executive Summary
Your processing plant should pass regulatory permits guiding meat processing. The meats of choice are livestock animals such as cattle, goat, and chicken.
 The plant core function is manufacture of processed meat such as beef, pork, and lamb. The plant design should accommodate equipment and meat processing.
The work schedule involves packaging, cooking, cutting, and trimming. Other functions are curing, grinding and filling.
The location
The choice of factory location should be assessable by vehicular transportation. Facilities in the plan include water treatment unit, electricity, water and large septic system.
Factor total cost of meat processing including, working and fixed capital. Predict three year financial model based on revenue, net income, sales and equity.
Secure funding through bank loans and properly manage expenses. Important considerations are quality of product, health safety issues, and customer’s preferences.
The target markets are wholesalers and retailers in your community.  Meat processing plants also sell to distributors and private individuals.
Marketing involves printing of flyers, posters, banners and signboards. You can take out advertisement in local newspapers and magazines.
You need proper packaging, branding and labels. Develop a marketing strategy and a marketing budget.
Product and Services
The products manufacture in your factory depends on your business focus. Meat processing plants produce pork sausage, pork bacon and beef jerky.
Other products are chicken nuggets, pork ham, beef snacks. The manufacturing process involves cutting, curing, grinding and packaging.
A small meat processing company needs about 3 to 4 staff. The job description involves harvesting and dressing the carcasses.
The capacity of the plant depends on equipment and proficiency of the workers. Storage is through refrigeration and freeze trucks for distribution.
Labor expenses involve direct plant workers and casual labor. You need a plant manager, accountant, clerk and quality control officer.
Fixed Expenses
Total variable fixed expenses are for electricity, supplies, gas, water, and insurance. More expenses revolve around pest control, license, repair and maintenance. Make sure you have a monthly income statement.
Byproducts from Meat Processing Plants
Meat processing plants produce huge quantities of waste and byproducts. The waste products include blood, inedible offal, bone and fat.
The product constitutes a secondary source of income and has many disposal challenges. Hides are sold to leather manufacturers and shoe makers.
While edible offal’s are used to manufacture animal feeds and dog food. Blood poses a health hazard and needs proper disposal and management.
Disposal methods are incineration, composting and subcontracting the waste management. You need an effective waste water treatment system and access to huge quantity of water.
Meat Processing Permits
Permits involve handling, sanitation and waste management. Regular inspection is expected throughout the year.
You need to apply for a trade permit and insurance cover. Incorporate the business as a limited liability company or sole proprietorship business. You need proper animal handling including good facilities.
Plant Overview
The plan should have a harvesting room, carcass drip cooler and carcass aging cooler. You need a cutting room, storage facility, blast freezer, spice room and supply room. Other structures are office block and maintenance room.
Meat Plant Equipments
The equipment that is found in meat processing plants are too numerous. They cover implements used for harvesting, coolers, fabrication and further processing.  Others are packaging equipment, general plant equipment and shipping.
Harvesting Equipment
Common equipment’s are beef cradle, hog cradle, splitting saw and captive bolt stunner. You need sterilizers, electronic rail scale, plastic barrels, pressure pumps, offal cart, hydraulic lift, trolley rack and final rail.
Further Processing Equipment
Further processing equipment are weight scales, bacon slicer, vacuum tumbler, meat injectors and mixer. More are band saw, knife sharpener and grinders.
Packaging involves ice machine, box scale, vacuum packaging machine and freezer carts. You will find refrigerators, blood tank, pressure washer and pumps.
Fixed assets include land, buildings and equipment. For waste management build a commercial septic tank and drainage system.


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