Pig farmers in Tasmania shutting down

They say it never rains but it pours. We’ve just had the news today that the abattoir we use for our business is going to close down in three weeks. It’s owned by a massive conglomerate and they’ve probably decided it’s not worth their while keeping it running.

It means the probable closure of our business. There are no other abattoirs in the north of Tasmania which slaughter pigs. At this stage we’ve only just found out and have not quite moved beyond the stage where we have to hope for a miracle. Government lifeline or intervention of some sort. Apparently they’re halfway through an $800k deal to keep it open. So that worked.

We have poured our hearts and souls into this business over the past seven years. It has taken both of us, and while I have tried to withdraw from it in part and set up my own line of business editing books for people, writing freelance journalism, and getting a travel memoir published, it is not much of or in any way enough of an alternative to keep us afloat. We will now be casting around for what Oliver can do that might keep our heads, and our children’s heads, above water, while I carry on doing what I do in the meantime.

We’re used to our lives being a roller coaster ride. We haven’t chosen a safe or normal route. We’re both self employed, and getting on in years. We’ve run a marginal farm business and I’ve launched a tenuous writing career. Every so often we start to feel as if we might be getting somewhere. My book has been published by an independent UK publisher and is currently showing in the Amazon bestseller rankings even though it hasn’t been published yet. I have a small, part-time roll with the Tamar Valley Wine Route. And I have managed to place some articles with national newspapers and magazines this year. Oliver has built a dedicated processing room and had it passed by Council, no mean feat. And we’re booked into a whole raft of spring events. And then this happens.

We have never been dealt quite such a body blow as this before. We’re reeling today, and currently wondering how we’re going to survive and what in hell we’re going to do. I can only say watch this space.


5 thoughts on “Pig farmers in Tasmania shutting down

  1. So sorry to hear this Fiona. The universe throws some absolute shockers at us at times (as I have found out this year) and somehow things seem to turn around. My whole life has gone topsy turvy but I know now it will all work out fine. I can only hope the same for you.
    I am astounded that somehow a book shows as a bestseller before it has been published. I’d love to hear more about that!

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    1. Hi karenlee! It’s so lovely to hear from you. I’ve just reinstated this blog after a bit of an absence, and I’m glad to be in touch with people again. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had your own troubles this year – I must visit your own blog to catch up. Life has a way of delivering multiple challenges at once doesn’t it. All our crows are coming home to roost here at the minute, that’s for sure!
      The book is available for pre-order on Amazon and has indeed been ranking, in three travel categories on Amazon for Kindle in Australia. The categories, and rankings, are refreshed hourly, and so if a handful of people are buying my book, but nobody is buying Bill Bryson because his book has been out for a while, then my book goes up. It can all change in a flash. The good thing about it is that the Amazon algorithm spots the excitement and starts adding you to the ‘Hot new release’ section, and also it means that anybody browsing the category has your book put in front of them – alongside whoever else is there, which is a great look.
      No resting on laurels obviously, I’ve got a big day lined up contacting anybody and everybody who runs a TV or radio show about books to see if I can keep getting it out there.
      Nearly time for the first cup of tea of the day. I’ll need a few today! Stay in touch, it really is lovely to hear from you.
      Fiona x

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  2. | | | |

    | | | HI FIONA & OLLYI’M SO SORRY TO HEAR YOUR LATEST NEWS! IS THIS THE ONLY PIG ABATTOIR ON TASMANIA? AUSTRALIA & EU REGULATIONS SEEM TO MAKE LIFE DIFFICULT FOR THE SMALL PERSON DELIBERATELY. I DON’T SUPPOSE DIVERSIFYING TO LAMB OR BEEF IS FEASIBLE. GOAT HAS A SMALL NICHE MARKET HERE. WHEN BREXIT OR NO BREXIT TAKES PLACE HERE THE CHANGES TO THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY IN N. IRELAND WILL BE VERY TRICKY. ALREADY SOME ANIMALS HAVE TO BE TRANSPORTED TO UK FOR ACCEPTABLE FACILITIES. I’L KEEP MY FINGERS CROSSED THAT SOME HOW THERE IS A REVERSAL IN THIS PROPOSAL.   XXXFRAN

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    WordPress.com | fionastocker posted: “They say it never rains but it pours. We’ve just had the news today that the abattoir we use for our business is going to close down in three weeks. It’s owned by a massive conglomerate and they’ve probably decided it’s not worth their while keeping it ru” | | Respond to this post by replying above this line |

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    | New post on Apple Island Wife | |

    | | | | Shutting down the farm by fionastocker |

    They say it never rains but it pours. We’ve just had the news today that the abattoir we use for our business is going to close down in three weeks. It’s owned by a massive conglomerate and they’ve probably decided it’s not worth their while keeping it running.It means the probable closure of our business. There are no other abattoirs in the north of Tasmania which slaughter pigs. At this stage we’ve only just found out and have not quite moved beyond the stage where we have to hope for a miracle. Government lifeline or intervention of some sort. Apparently they’re halfway through an $800k deal to keep it open. So that worked.We have poured our hearts and souls into this business over the past seven years. It has taken both of us, and while I have tried to withdraw from it in part and set up my own line of business editing books for people, writing freelance journalism, and getting a travel memoir published, it is not much of or in any way enough of an alternative to keep us afloat. We will now be casting around for what Oliver can do that might keep our heads, and our children’s heads, above water, while I carry on doing what I do in the meantime.We’re used to our lives being a roller coaster ride. We haven’t chosen a safe or normal route. We’re both self employed, and getting on in years. We’ve run a marginal farm business and I’ve launched a tenuous writing career. Every so often we start to feel as if we might be getting somewhere. My book has been published by an independent UK publisher and is currently showing in the Amazon bestseller rankings even though it hasn’t been published yet. I have a small, part-time roll with the Tamar Valley Wine Route. And I have managed to place some articles with national newspapers and magazines this year. Oliver has built a dedicated processing room and had it passed by Council, no mean feat. And we’re booked into a whole raft of spring events. And then this happens.We have never been dealt quite such a body blow as this before. We’re reeling today, and currently wondering how we’re going to survive and what in hell we’re going to do. I can only say watch this space. fionastocker | October 23, 2018 at 3:11 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p8iwjr-q4 | Comment |    See all comments |

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  3. Thinking of you both. Being a business owner always has its ups and downs, but the owner of an agricultural based business is the greatest roller coaster ride of all!

    On Tue, 23 Oct 2018 at 2:11 pm, Apple Island Wife wrote:

    > fionastocker posted: “They say it never rains but it pours. We’ve just had > the news today that the abattoir we use for our business is going to close > down in three weeks. It’s owned by a massive conglomerate and they’ve > probably decided it’s not worth their while keeping it ru” >

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    1. Too bloody right Jo!! Riding the roller coaster right now for sure. Annette Reed was saying last year, after two of her hothouses got wiped out in that freak hail storm and she’d also been flooded, ‘Who’d be a farmer?’ I know just what she means. We’ll see what the news brings today. Remaining philosophical!! We wanted to change this business anyway, It may just be forced upon us sooner and rather more rapidly than we thought. Tricky talking to the children about it all. Oliver and I can trust to luck, the gods and our ability to scramble to know that we will survive, but the kids don’t necessarily have those resources, and I’d have to say my fourteen year old was pretty unsettled when she was going to sleep last night.
      Okay, I need that cup of tea now! Onwards. Have a good day yourself, talk soon. Fiona x

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