Exciting NEWS!!! NABC is currently having a state of the art Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU) built to serve the needs of all commercial scale producers in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties as well as larger scale producers in King, Island and San Juan Co. The MPPU will be fully staffed with experienced operators emphasizing food safety and efficiencies to provide each producer with the highest quality product at a reasonable cost. The Unit will be equipped with the best available equipment to achieve a humane kill using a stun knife, effective scald and pluck, followed by evisceration in shackles (to avoid cross contamination), an organically approved anti-microbial dip (lactic acid), and air-chilled for top quality and the safest end product. In addition the MPPU will be offering custom cutting of product, vacuum packing, and professional, custom labels for each producer (with farm logo & name).
Once the MPPU is operational (estimated to be by late May), producers will be able to schedule services online through the NABC website. You will be able to choose your processing date, provide cutting and packaging specifications and be assured that all of your needs will be professionally met. You can specify how many birds you want packed whole, or choose the number to be cut in halves, or packed as breasts, legs & thighs, wings, and soup packs. Chicken feet and livers can also be specified, as well as gizzards and hearts if desired.
Each producer must obtain a WSDA Food Processor License, http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/FoodProcessors/, (only $55 annually) which will require a source of potable water. In addition, each farm must provide on-farm composting for offal, have a 220 V power source in proximity to the processing area, potable water, a receiving area for waste water (a suitable pasture or other well drained area that will not pollute a water supply or stream), and a level paved or graveled parking area for the 26’ MPPU to operate.
The cost for services is subject to change, but the objective is to provide for a cost effective infrastructure to serve the processing needs of producers while supporting the profitability of their enterprise. Since producers will be paying for the operating overhead of the MPPU the cost will include mileage, staff time, a share of depreciation and insurance, and the cost of materials and supplies. At this time it is estimated that a producer with 150 birds to process per batch including, for this example, 90 miles round trip travel, cutting-up, packaging and custom labeling all product will be paying approx. $3.60 per bird. Clearly fewer birds would cost incrementally more and a greater number of birds would cost less per processed package. Aside from providing for the WSDA Food Processor License as outlined above, the producer is only responsible for delivering their birds to the back of the Unit and, some hours later, picking up their finished product at the front door of the Unit, ready to sell!
Producers will be able to sell fresh or frozen product depending on the requirements of their market. They will, of course need to provide refrigerated and/or frozen storage capacity, but the legalities and safety of product storage will be covered by their Food Processor License.
NABC is offering a Poultry Production Workshop, repeated on the next two consecutive Mondays, specifically geared toward those producers that intend to utilize the services of the MPPU. Please see the links below for details.
NOTE: Timely Workshop registration is URGENT. Please sign-up NOW – registration for the March 17th class closes at noon this Friday!