In­done­sia, US boost for NW abat­toir

Countryman - - NEWS - Jenne Bram­mer

The North West’s only abat­toir is about to ramp up pro­duc­tion af­ter re­ceiv­ing ap­provals to ex­port to the size­able In­done­sian and US mar­kets.

The Kim­ber­ley Meat Com­pany, half­way be­tween Broome and Derby on Yeeda Sta­tion, started pro­cess­ing in March af­ter a $25 mil­lion in­vest­ment by Yeeda own­ers Jack Burton and Mervyn Key.

Mr Burton said the In­done­sian ap­proval took ef­fect from next month and would re­sult in sales of up to $25 mil­lion of pro­cessed meat a year for that market.

The US ap­proval is es­ti­mated to be worth be­tween $15 mil­lion and $20 mil­lion a year.

“In­done­sia and the US are re­ally the big-ticket mar­kets for us,” Mr Burton said.

“We are cur­rently pro­cess­ing 500 to 600 a week, but in Oc­to­ber will move to full ca­pac­ity of around 1000 to 1200 a week, op­er­at­ing one shift of about 50 staff.

“We’ve spent the last six months ar­rang­ing ap­provals and get­ting cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, which was far more frus­trat­ing than we thought it would be.

“We are now at the stage where we can start re­ally fo­cus­ing on pro­duc­tion.”

The two re­cent ma­jor ap­provals build on the ex­ist­ing ma­jor market of Viet­nam (po­ten­tially worth $10 mil­lion a year) and smaller mar­kets of the Philip­pines, Thai­land, South Korea, Ja­pan and the Mid­dle East, as well as do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion for Yeeda’s own whole­salers at Broome and Ger­ald­ton.

Mr Burton said there was po­ten­tial to in­crease ca­pac­ity be­yond 2200 by run­ning two shifts a week, but that would come at sig­nif­i­cant cost and at the mo­ment the abat­toir would fo­cus on its cur­rent mar­kets.

As well as pro­cess­ing its own cat­tle, the KMC will also buy about half its cat­tle from other pas­toral­ists.

He said the fa­cil­ity pri­mar­ily “slaugh­tered and quartered cat­tle”, most of which was ex­ported frozen via the Fre­man­tle Port.

“We are look­ing at op­tions for ex­port­ing via the Broome Port, but cur­rently be­cause of back load­ing, the rate out of Fre­man­tle is more at­trac­tive and it is more reg­u­lar and re­li­able,” Mr Burton said.

A smaller amount of chilled meat is air­freighted to Viet­nam and the Mid­dle East from Perth Air­port.

He said Yeeda was in­ves­ti­gat­ing a joint ven­ture ar­range­ment with a Viet­namese com­pany, which would in­volve a pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity that would value-add to the meat within Viet­nam.

Pic­ture: Robert Dougherty

Jack Burton at the Kim­ber­ley Meat Com­pany at Yeeda Sta­tion, be­tween Broome and Derby.

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