Manchester shechita operation goes into liquidation

Leader pledges: 'There will be shechita but under a different model'


Holstein cows in the pasture with copy space in blue sky

Manchester Beth Din has pledged to continue providing fresh kosher meat despite its shechita arm going into liquidation last week.

Rabbi Daniel Walker, one of the directors of MBD Shechita Services, which was run as a separate company, said this week: “There will be Manchester shechita but under a different model. We are still getting advice on how to do it.”

Shechita would need to resume “very soon - as soon as next week, if not this week”.
Although consumers would see “no difference”, the operation would be changing how it employed shechita teams. “We can’t cover our payroll with our income so something has to change.”

According to its accounts last year, MBD Shechita Services had liabilities of £379,000 and seven employees on its books.

But Rabbi Walker claimed the debts were “nowhere near that. We managed to settle the situation but we got to the point when it was no longer viable under the system we were using. Unfortunately, last Thursday that company went into liquidation.”

The MBD has just a single butcher shop, Glatt Butchers, remaining under its licence. But Rabbi Walker pointed out that it also supplied meat to restaurants and caterers that were supervised by it.

In recent years, it has faced more competition from the capital with one butcher, Shefa Mehadrin, under the supervision of the Federation of Synagogues and two others - Hayden’s and Kosher Deli - licensed by the London Board for Shechita.

And Manchester’s expanding Charedi community is served primarily by butchers licensed by the local Machzikei Hadass.

Rabbi Walker acknowledged that while there had been once been a “huge demand” for MBD meat, demand had fallen.

The MBD underwent an organisational shake-up three years ago when the honorary officers quit and a group of local rabbis assumed responsibility.

The officers had been exploring a possible tie-up with one of the London batei din. The JC understands that a deal with the London Beth Din had been on the table which would have involved greater collaboration, including over the production of kosher meat.

But Rabbi Walker dismissed the possibility of any such association happening at the present time.

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