Burnett helps Swickers
Meatworks lends hand to abattoir
BIGGENDEN Meatworks has come to the aid of the Swickers Bacon Factory, following a devastating fire at the Kingaroy business on November 6.
The North Burnett company has taken on some of the smaller operations of the South Burnett company, while they repair the damage caused by the fire.
Biggenden Meatworks manager Peter Gibbs said it was the least they could do.
“We’re taking some of the their smaller operators and just giving them a hand,” he said.
“You know it’s the same old story, if we were in the same situation here, there are not many meat processors left so if we don’t help out there could be less and less of them.”
Mr Gibbs said it was important for Burnett companies to support one another.
“If you look at what the Burnett supplies, the best industries come out of the Burnett,” he said.
“These small communities provide the lifeblood, so you take Swickers out of Kingaroy and that town dies.
“No-one can afford that in the industry now.”
Mr Gibbs said the North Burnett abattoir was processing about 1000 extra pigs more than a week since the fire.
“It’s economic for us as well, it doesn’t do us any harm,” he said.
“This is just for the short term until they get back on their feet.”
Mr Gibbs said the meatworks would help out as long as they were needed.
“Swickers are back processing now but, as long as they need us to do the odd jobs, we’ll do it,” he said.
“They’re run efficiently, so they’ll be up and about doing as much as they can through their plant, and I hope to see them in full swing again within two to three weeks.”
The fire on November 6 destroyed the export distribution centre, boning room and chillers.
The processing floor, value add facilities, offices, new warehouse chiller and dry goods store were not affected.
More than 100 workers from the factory have been moved temporarily to work in an Ipswich processing facility.
Swickers Bacon Factory in Kingaroy caught fire on November 6.