Esper­ance abat­toir re­opens

Countryman - - NEWS - Joanna De­la­lande

The Esper­ance abat­toir is of­fi­cially open for busi­ness al­most a year after it went into liq­ui­da­tion, with 70 res­i­dents em­ployed so far.

The Cen­tral Agri Group-run fa­cil­ity re­sumed op­er­a­tions last week after re­ceiv­ing its ex­port li­cence. It went into liq­ui­da­tion in May with mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar debts owed to about 100 cred­i­tors from when it was un­der the own­er­ship of Shark Lake Food Group.

Cen­tral Agri Group Esper­ance part-owner Peter Polovinka said an es­ti­mated 150 em­ploy­ees would be re­quired once the abat­toir was at full ca­pac­ity.

“Most of the peo­ple we hired — about 50 of them — were those who used to work there and lost their jobs,” he said. “A lot of those peo­ple never got jobs after it was shut down and have been un­em­ployed, so it’s good to have them back in the work­force.

“We’re pro­cess­ing beef only at the mo­ment and will start pro­cess­ing sheep in the next month or two.”

Mr Polovinka said this was also good news for farm­ers, who would no longer have to shoul­der high trans­port costs, and he hoped to re­ceive the nec­es­sary sup­port from Esper­ance’s farm­ing com­mu­nity to en­sure the new abat­toir thrived.

At the time of its clo­sure, the high price of live­stock was cited as one of the fac­tors that led to the busi­ness’ eco­nomic trou­bles.

Rami Koyu, who ran the Myrup abat­toir with Esper­ance-based direc­tors John Wild­berger and John Reed, said the clo­sure was down to a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing a strug­gle with “sky-high” live­stock prices.

He said the ap­point­ment of a re­ceiver to Car­pen­ter Beef, owned by his Cen­tral Agri Group busi­ness, af­fected the cred­i­bil­ity of his other busi­nesses, in­clud­ing Shark Lake Food Group.

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