An abattoir which provides meat to high street stores has been fined £27,680 for releasing chemicals, fat and other animal waste into a waterway.
Chitty Food Group admitted at Guildford Magistrates' Court to 10 breaches of effluent regulations and to failing to use proper equipment.
Thames Water prosecuted the firm after it released seven times the amount of waste allowed from its Surrey abattoir.
The company was also ordered to pay £5,641 costs.
The court was told Chitty Food Group, which is based in Horndean, Hampshire, and sells organic beef to supermarkets including Marks and Spencers, had been badly affected by the recession.
It has recently closed its site in Basildon, Essex, and cut staff pay by 7.5%.
No-one from the firm commented following the sentencing.