Tak­ing the slack

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMP­TON

Small abat­toirs step up

THE clo­sure of sheep and cat­tle lines at the Devon­port abat­toir is pro­vid­ing a boost to other Tas­ma­nian meat­works as they take on ex­tra stock and look to ex­pand op­er­a­tions.

In­ter­na­tional meat-pro­cess­ing gi­ant JBS shocked the Tas­ma­nian meat in­dus­try last month when it an­nounced it would stop op­er­at­ing its meat­works at Quoiba.

A new com­pany called Devon­port Pork, guar­an­teed by es­tab­lished pro­ces­sor Tas­ma­nian Qual­ity Meats, re­opened on Tues­day but with 80 fewer staff.

The plant pro­cessed cat­tle, lambs and pigs un­der JBS but will now be a pig-only fa­cil­ity.

Wal’s Bulk Meats at Stow­port is one of the abat­toirs to take on ex­tra lambs and cat­tle to not only help the in­dus­try in a time of change but also boost its busi­ness.

Tim Plapp said things were a “lit­tle crazy” at the mo­ment but the busi­ness was ex­pect­ing to in­vest in new in­fra­struc­ture in line with more pro­duc­tion.

“We would be do­ing 100 cat­tle and 500 lambs a week now. We have put a few ex­tra peo­ple on and look­ing at ex­pand­ing in­fra­struc­ture in line with that,” Mr Plapp said.

“While the JBS de­ci­sion threw ev­ery­one at first, it has turned out to be a good thing for us.”

The Stow­port fa­cil­ity was one of sev­eral to put up their hand to take on ex­tra live­stock as the in­dus­try scram­bled for so­lu­tions. Oth­ers in­cluded Gretna Meat­works, Huon Val­ley Meats at Cradoc, Tas­ma­nian Qual­ity Meats at Cressy and a Fin­gal meat­works.

The new owner of the Cradoc abat­toir Shane Griggs said his busi­ness had put on two ex­tra work­ers and in­creased pro­duc­tion from one day to three days a week as live­stock nor­mally pro­cessed at Devon­port came south.

“We may look to ramp it up de­pend­ing on de­mand,” Mr Griggs said.

“We can take on a lit­tle bit more with what we have got – about 80 head of cat­tle a week – but would then have to look to ex­pand.”

Pri­mary In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Guy Bar­nett has set up a meatin­dus­try work­ing group to pro­vide ad­vice and rec­om­men­da­tions to the State Govern­ment on the fu­ture of Tas­ma­nia’s live­stock in­dus­try.

Mr Bar­nett said the group would look at short and medium-term ac­tions as well as long-term strat­egy to un­der­pin a sus­tain­able in­dus­try.

He said the group would also look at ways to in­crease the trade, mar­ket­ing, value and sales of the state’s meat sec­tor.

The work­ing group will be chaired by Lib­eral Mem­ber for Mont­gomery, Leonie His­cutt.

Mrs His­cutt said the group was con­fi­dent the Tas­ma­nian meat in­dus­try had a bright fu­ture.

She said the group would seek in­put from stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing pro­duc­ers, live­stock agents, buy­ers, whole­salers, trans­port op­er­a­tors and other in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.