When you think about meat, you naturally think about burgers, steaks, and other types of cuts that can be bought in the market. Meat is consumed daily all over the world and this development has led to a large number of fast-rising health issues of which food poisoning caused by the salmonella bacteria pathogen tops the chart. Most of these health issues are linked to the consumption of contaminated meat and they can be remedied by proper handling and processing of animal carcasses and cuts. As a smart entrepreneur, you should leverage this pitfall and start a meat packaging business to your advantage.
The Meat packaging business is a very productive businesses you can operate anywhere in the world. In this article, I will be sharing a few steps on how you can conveniently start a meat packaging business and also make tremendous profit in your business journey.
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What is Meat Packaging?
Meat packaging is not only an art, it is also the science of handling, processing, packing, and distributing meat cuts derived from the slaughter of animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and other livestock. Meat packaging plays an important role in meat preservation, protection against contamination by pathogens, and improving the shelf-life(quality) of meat.
It is therefore important that meat be packaged properly if human health must not be adversely affected by its consumption, hence the existence of the meat packaging industry.
Below are the necessary things you should consider if you are looking to start a meat packaging business.
How to Start a Meat Packaging Business
Conduct a Market Survey
The first step is to learn about the meat packaging industry. Research on locations that largely need meat packaging service and precautions and safety rules related to the meat packaging business. You can talk with other meat plant owners, and regulatory agencies and conduct surveys to gather information.
Will it be a small-scale meat packaging business that distributes freshly packaged meat or will it be a larger-scale facility that engages in export? Conducting research will help you decide on the type of meat packaging business you will like to operate and the type of meat you would like to engage in.
Consider Writing a Business Plan
The information gathered from your market research would guide you in drafting your business plan. Every business requires a plan if it intends to be a successful one. In your business plan clearly state;
- Suppliers of products needed for your meat packaging business
- Your business target market
- Associated costs that would be incurred
- and sources of funding if you aim to go large-scale.
Get Business License
Meat packaging licenses range from those that allow you to store meats, to permits on meat handling and packaging. Each country has a regulatory body that ensures meat packaging meets approved health conditions. Obtaining your business license and associated permits will make your business legal.
Acquire meat packaging facility and meat packaging equipment
Meat packaging and processing equipment including;
- Meat processors
- Refrigerators and freezers
- power plants
- and meat packaging packs.
You should endeavor to purchase meat packaging products and materials that comply with and are approved by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The types of equipment must also provide relevant information supplier, brand name, and conditions for use.
If you are looking out to start a commercial meat packaging business then you should be aware that you cannot handle the packaging work alone so start thinking about hiring workers. Meat packaging is hard work and you would most likely be handling meat processing too.
Finding competent, diligent, and careful employees should be the qualities you look out for when hiring. Remember, the meat you would be packaging has to be handled with care.
Package Meat and Sell
This is the actual meat packaging phase.
Before packaging meat, ensure that your meat is free of chemical, physical, and biological contaminants. This would be easy if your packaging facility is in good condition and animals are killed and slaughtered with the right methods. Also, ensure that meat is packaged in its fresh state.
When packaging meat, you should also endeavor to make use of flexible packaging materials that will meet the market standards of your intended target market. There exist several meat packaging materials and each has different effects on the packaged meat quality. Also, different packaging materials are used for different livestock.
Beef and pork use Vacuum packaging(eliminates air from packages) while poultry uses Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) which uses carbon dioxide to preserve meat.
Approved packaging materials you can use in your meat packaging business include: Butcher rolls and papers, plastic meat film, bottom foam trays, plastic wraps and storage bags, aluminum foil, freezer papers, etc.
Always ensure to follow the relavent market trends. Following market trends relevant to meat packaging will help your business to keep your customers’ growing needs satisfied.