Shortening the meat supply chain between farm gate and retail counter, a particularly fashionable concept in the wake of foot and mouth and the Curry report, is under fire from livestock producers.
About 600 farmers at Penrith in Cumbria gathered to protest at the planned closure of the livestock auction market, part of the swing from live auctions to direct procurement by processors.
The shutdown by Penrith Farmers' & Kidd's of its flagship site is a response to increasing overcapacity in the region, MD Richard Morris told the farmers.
The site and PF&K's other auction operations are being sold to rival Harrison and Hetherington 20 miles away at Carlisle.