Swick­ers back in busi­ness af­ter fire

The Western Star - - RURALWEEKLY -

THIS week marked one year since the Swick­ers Ba­con Fac­tory in Kin­garoy went up in flames. Swick­ers gen­eral man­ager of op­er­a­tions Lin­chon Hawks has as­pi­ra­tions to be back to full op­er­a­tion on Novem­ber 20.

When a light in the bon­ing room caused a fire, there was noth­ing that could be sal­vaged from the build­ing.

“There is no one busi­ness that hasn’t been af­fected by what we had on site on Novem­ber 6, 2016, we do un­der­stand the im­pact it’s had,” Mr Hawks said.

Within seven months, Swick­ers had built a tem­po­rary bon­ing room and new chillers to get staff back to Kin­garoy faster while the new bon­ing room was be­ing built.

“We had our hur­dles, our plan was we had a date in mind that we wanted to be back,” Mr Hawks said.

The size of the new bon­ing room may be the same as it was be­fore, how­ever the new build­ing has a high roof to al­low for an­other level.

Swick­ers has also taken on a ham project and will pro­duce 2.5 mil­lion ki­los of ham this year. But what’s next for Swick­ers is the most ex­cit­ing part, Mr Hawks said.

The next stage is a new slaugh­ter floor.

Mr Hawks will travel to Ger­many, Bel­gium and Den­mark next month to fi­nalise plans and equip­ment for the new project.

“The ex­cit­ing part of this in the whole jour­ney is that we are go­ing to end up with a re­mark­able fa­cil­ity and one of the best in Aus­tralia,” he said.

When the fire hap­pened Swick­ers had about 549 em­ploy­ees. In Au­gust 2017, there were 716.

“The pork in­dus­try is grow­ing, we see in Novem­ber 2018 22,000 pigs need to be pro­cessed, cur­rently there are 19,000- 19,5000,” Mr Hawks said.

We are go­ing to end up with a re­mark­able fa­cil­ity...

PHOTO: HEATH PUKALLUS

A YEAR ON: The scene of a fire at Swick­ers Ba­con Fac­tory on Sun­day, Novem­ber 6, 2016.

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