An audit of the Isle of Man Meat Plant has concluded some major challenges need to be addressed.

It said the factory had the ability to ‘easily carry out the processes’ for which it’s used and that it’s ‘well equipped’.

The report indicates a need to review and improve the sales model, increase the throughput of the plant through operational efficiencies and improved training for employees.

It also highlights a lack of management and financial information and a need to review compliance and governance of the plant.

In response, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture Clare Barber moved quickly to discuss the findings and next steps with the board of directors. Following this, and in light on the findings, she has taken on the role of chair with immediate effect, while a turnaround plan is developed.

Graham Crowe, a lifelong farmer, had been acting as interim chair since January and will remain on the board. Other changes have seen the plant’s manager resign his role and four new non-executive directors appointed to help find solutions as quickly as possible.

Minister Barber said: ‘A functioning meat plant performs a pivotal role at the centre of both Manx agriculture and the Island’s strategic food security policy, so I welcome the report and look forward to addressing the challenges with the board. I would like to thank Graham for stepping in to help over the last 10 months, during which this audit took place.’

Work on the turnaround plan has already started and the search for a new plant manager and permanent chair is also underway.

Further resources have also been provided to help the plant address some of the major issues around compliance and security.

The report can be viewed on the DEFA website.