Some say that it’s an ill wind that blows no good but for one company that is blatantly not true.

Following the last outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the abattoir at Bishops Castle shut down but this was not to be the end of the story. Dan Morris got together with a number of local farmers and together they bought the site, believing that it was crucial that there was a local, independent abattoir. They took ownership of the site in July 2009 and made the first kill in December of that year. Today the abattoir, known as ‘Daysdrove’ is the property of 87 shareholders – all local farmers.

Dan explains, “We knew that there was a need for a local abattoir that would process basically Shropshire meat and today, we are the only three-species abattoir in Shropshire. We chose the name as we have concentrated on sourcing animals that have been raised within a ‘day’s drove’ or roughly 30 miles. We believe that while many companies claim to be offering local meat, we are one of the very few who can actually prove that is the case and we have full traceability. We found the site just two years ago and, with our private shareholders, set about raising the funds in the middle of one of the biggest recessions in recent times. Despite this, we are now in our second year of trading; we have a good order book and are generating a good turnover.”

The location is perfect as it is ideally located within the quality livestock heartland of Shropshire, the Marches and Welsh border country. The area served is from Oswestry in the north to Leominster in the south and from Bridgnorth in the east to Llanidloes in the West. Already, Daysdrove has built up a significant number of customers across a wide area. These include butchers and many well-known pubs and restaurants.

Dan says, “We now employ 15 local people and have two of our own vehicles for deliveries. When we started, we employed all local tradesmen in order to get the abattoir up and running quickly and smoothly. We have had very good support from Advantage West Midlands and throughout, we have tried to be as environmentally friendly as we can. Most of our waste goes to Poynton’s of Chester whilst tripe goes to Staffordshire Bye Products. By limiting our incoming meat to basically 30 miles, we also minimise the carbon footprint of our meat, again enhancing its reputation.

“Do I regret moving from the meat processing industry, spending all day on the road? No I certainly don’t. Today, I have more time for a family life, and I greatly enjoy what I am doing. We offer a service not just to the big farmer but also to the smallholder and owners of rare breeds. We can kill the animal, cut it down and vacuum pack it for individuals and for farm markets.

We also have our own shop in the beautiful market town of Church Stretton but are looking to expand our range of outlets within a day’s drove!”

For further information please telephone 01588 630726 or visit


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