The Fray Bentos meatpacking plant in Uruguay is the first of its kind to be named an UNESCO World Heritage Site. But what makes this one so special?
The factory stands along on the banks of the River Uruguay, against a backdrop of flat pampas and palm trees. It’s been there for ages… literally. It opened in 1859 by a German firm called Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company. They invented the OXO cube in case you were wondering.
The meat plant was then taken over by a British company in 1924, which used it to export frozen beef. It was the Brits who rearranged the production line to use gravity in the most efficient way. The cow would walk up a ramp to the top of the factory where it was slaughtered and then turned into leather hides, meat and corned beef on the lower floors.
The UNESCO committee labelled the factory a “Cultural-Industrial Landscape” that “illustrates the whole process of meat sourcing, processing, packing and dispatching. Today it’s the country’s latest tourist attraction that you can visit after stepping off of flights to Montevideo.
Do you think it merits the status?