About the Program
Pastured poultry has long been recognized as a viable enterprise for diversified family farms. In order to access markets, farmers must have their birds processed. Whether direct marketing, retail, or wholesale, there are specific processing regulations that must be followed and stringent guidelines for the facilities used.
NABC is working with producers to develop the local pastured poultry industry. As part of this effort NABC built and put into operation a staffed, WSDA-certified Mobile Poultry Processing Unit or “MPPU,” thanks to funding from the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Sustainable Whatcom Fund. To be eligible to use this unit, producers need to have a WSDA Food Processors License, and meet all site requirements (see below). The unit itself carries liability insurance, allowing poultry producers to acquire coverage through their individual farm policy.
With the MPPU, producers in northwest Washington have access to convenient, legal, on-farm processing, enabling them to enter the marketplace with upscale product to supply the growing demand for “locally-grown” foods. The unit is capable of processing chickens, turkeys, waterfowl and game birds.
Fees For Service
To be eligible to hire the MPPU, customers must join the NABC Network ($50/ year annual subscription) and pay the annual service deposit ($200 per year; applied to your final service date for the season). Service fees are based on a flat rate (includes Unit plus driver) + piece rate (packaging materials, optional add'l labor). An overview is available here: MPPU flyer . Please contact the NABC office for more information.
Eligibility and Sign Up
To be ready for the MPPU, you'll need to:
- A valid WSDA Food Processor License (NABC has Unit specific documents on file to submit with your application) and product liability insurance (and WSDA organic certificate if applicable)
- Join the NABC Network ($50/ year annual membership)
- Attend the MPPU Safe Food Processing class - farmers are strongly encouraged to materially participate on-board during processing days
For the unit's operating site you'll need to have:
- Potable water source within 100 ft. of processing area (the unit will carry a food grade hose for hook up to a standard hose bib). Minimum flow rate of 5 gal/min. (30psi).
- Electrical service within 100 ft. of processing area (220V/1/30amp) - (L1430-4 prong twist receptacle)
- Secure access (firm road bed with 13'6" vertical, and 8'8" wide clearance to a LEVEL gravel or paved parking area for the MPPU to set-up (must be close enough to level that our blocks can get the unit to sit level front & back, and side to side - critical for drainage and crew safety).
- An adequate composting system (while this doesn’t need to be licensed, it must satisfy safe composting criteria acceptable to the local conservation district).
- An acceptable receiving area for waste water (EX: a pasture that is safely away from all water courses like streams, ditches, rivers, etc.) that cannot contaminate any nearby well water.
- Service date reservation(s) - include the estimated number of birds, type of poultry, preference for heat shrink or vacuum bags, and how processed (whole, half, cut-up, bagged organ meats, etc.) so we can be sure to have the right supplies on board.
- On-farm refrigerated storage - the capacity needs to be able to handle the quantity of product we will be processing (this is part of your WSDA Food Processing License)
Request your processing dates and get guidance on how best to utilize the unit's capabilities by contacting our office: 360-336-3727 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about preparations to hire the MPPU, or about the MPPU project, please contact the NABC home office at 360-336-3727 or email@example.com. Se habla español: Miguel Martinez 360-899-8265