Updated 28.12.2013. Longford abattoir is located on the North east side of Tasmania mainland, South of Launceston. Owned by JBS the abattoir is a multi species abattoir currently operating.

Other Names

  • Longford JBS
  • Number 195.18

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #195 – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Longford).17
    • registered as a Beef, Sheep, Offal export facility.17
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au


Australia. Longford

Map. LongfordSource – Hema Maps – Australia Truckies Atlas. 


  • Gilbertson family
  • SBA foods (Sumikan)- 1996
  • Tasman Group7
    • Used to operate under name – Belandra Pty Ltd
    • Victorian based operation7
    • General Manager Fracnk Orovec7
    • Chairman Giuseppe Catalfamo7
  • JBS Swift1

Operation Of Longford.

  • Multi species processing abattoir2
    • Multi species abattoirs notoriously difficult and complex to manage5
    • Longford is Australia’s most flexible and diverse red meat processing site5
  • Capacity to process 450 beef a day, 1,600 Small stock such as Lamb, mutton and veal1
    • With beef operation also kills 1800 lambs and sheep a day, plus bobby calves and veal.5
  • Full Halal kill to key Muslim markets – Malaysia, Indonesia and Middle East.5
  • Full License access for beef and lamb export to China and Russia5
  • Carries out EU grassfed supply – MSA backed grassfed Natural beef program5
  • Longford carries out most of weekly grainfed kill on contract for Japanese owned Feedlot located in Tasmania5
  • Emphasis is directing sheep and beef meat to branded programs instead of selling product as a commodity meat.5

History Of Longford


  • SBA Foods sell to Tasman Group Services – $25M9
    • Includes King Island9
    • Altona abattoir – Melbourne (currently mothballed) – been closed for last 2 years9
      • Past 4 years had $10M spent on improving beef slaughter chain, chiller and boning facilities9
    • Yambinya feedlot – Wakool, Deniliquin.9
    • Tasman Group already owned – Brooklyn abattoir – gutted by fire June 2001 and still closed in 2002.9


  • Abattoir closed -part of union agreement workers to paid full entitlements7
    • Rescue package offered by Government7
    • More optimistic about workers future with package announced7
  • Abattoir had applied for new rendering plant7
    • $5M plant had already been built but formal application still required approval.7
  • 600 Tasmanian feedlot cattle went to King Island abattoir for processing.7


  • Tasman Group Chairman – Giuseppe Catalfamo brided Cole’s head of supermarket merchadising Peter Scott (Coles fired Scott in 2007).6
    • Scott had acquired million dollar bayside apartment from Catalfamo6
    • Considered a breach of retailers code of conduct – Tasman group main supplier of beef in Victoria and Tasmania6
    • Catalfamo been caught bribing and meat substitution in past – horse-meat substitution scandel that threatened Australia’s export industry 20 years ago, fined and banned from exporting to the USA for 10 years.6
  • Devonport abattoir provides Woolworths with fresh sausages for 29 Tasmanian stores6
  • Tasman Group – report ending 20056
    • sales had increased 30% but profit halved to $6.3M6
    • Company borrowings total nearly $62M6
      • Main creditors – National Australia Bank, ANZ and Japanese meat company Hannan Corporation6


  • JBS purchased as part of Tasman group when entered Australia with acquitsition of AMH5
    • Tasman Group consists of abattoirs in Tasmania – Longford, Devonport and King Island8
      • Tasman group 3 abattoirs in Tasmania including King Island and 3 in Victoria.8
      • JBS paid $US150M8
    • JBS also purchased Smithfield Group $US565M8
      • Has four abattoirs8
    • JB also purchase National Beef $US560M8
      • Has three abattoirs8
      • 2 meat processing facilities8


  • March. JBS lockout company -Cuthbertson Brothers10
    • Cutherbertson process sheep and lamb skins supply footwear trade.10
      • 150 year old company – established by Blundstone11
      • Purchase 80% of Tasmanian production of sheep and lamb skins11
      • Processing plant at Launceston11
        • supply exclusively to Manufacturer Melbourne – Dynasty11
        • Dynasty is agent for Henan Prosper – worlds largest tannery located in China11
      • Employ 20 people11
    • Cutherbertson call on ACCC to launch formal investigation as breach of Trade Practices Act, JBS have misused market power to push players out of the sheep and lambskin market.11
    • JBS refuse to allow Australian Lamb Company to process animals at Longford11
      • Australian Lamb Company is major exporter11
      • Processed 1000 heavy lambs  per week.12
      • Loss of buisiness caused producers $7-$10 per head.11
        • Australian Lamb company forced to send stock to Melbourne for processing11
      • At 2009 – Longford is the only supplier of export grade sheep and lamb produce in Tasmania11
    • JBS is dealing direct with producers , by passing stock agents.11
    • JBS continued pattern of activities designed to force Cuthbertson Brothers out of market by approaching Cuthbertson’s major clients.11
  • Sheepskin tender lockout has caused producers receive 50% less for skins11
    • $3-$4 per skin11
  • ACCC are investigating the matter but JBS refusing to discuss with ACCC.11


  • JBS lay off 90 workers13


  • JBS Australia split into two operating entities to make Northern and Southern regions in relation to abattoirs and feedlots within those areas14.
    • South – Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania14
    • North – NSW and QLD.14


  • JBS threaten closure of Longford if another abattoir is established on King Island abattoir (Tas)3
    • JBS say – not receiving cattle from King Island would hurt Longford operations3
    • JBS (at June 2013) still owned the closed King Island plant. It was not leased or for sale3
  • Longford Plant – Boning room to be reconfigured for great throughput to increase efficency5
    • Long term strategy to optimise production efficency5
    • Lift beef throughput by 50%, increasing beef killed from 300 currently to around 475 head5
      • Majority of cattle sourced – well grown Angus from Tasmania’s NE and NW regions5
      • Islands – King Island and Flinders can account for anything from 200-450 head a week, higher in the spring run.5
      • 80-90% of slaughter cattle are sourced direct from vendors5
    • More productive work hours – 4 day weekly roster, based on four 9.5 hour working days5
    • New technologies – X-ray fat analysis equipment to determine Chemical lean (CL) content5
      • Note – Chemical lean is fat/marbling amount through the meat, the higher the number the less fat content. 90CL very lean, 80CL has high marbling.
    • New technologies – metal fragment contamination screening5
  • Since purchase of facility – considerable infrastructure development, modern blast freezer facility5
  • Focus on growing a range of beef and lamb brands for both key domestic and international customers5
    • 75% of currently weekly kill is MSA accredited at slaughter5
  • Value add at facility – Supplies supermarkets and key customers5
    • Sausages, corned beef, marinated products, dicing, shanks5
    • conventionally packed or MAP5
    • sold under supermarket label.5
  • September. JBS launch brand launch.20

Beef central 27.09.2013 logo

 Great Southern Logo. Source Beef Central 27.9.2013

  • Great Southern grassfed beef and lamb.20
    • Products first of their type in Australia.20
    • third party audited program JAS/ANZ ISO.20
    • 65 accredited farm quality assurance programs backing the brand.20
    • huge demand in domestic and global customers for traceable fresh grassfed meat.20
      • supplied by best practice producers with better livestock genetics.20
      • MSA graded for eating quality.20
      • Farmers would receive premium prices.20
        • 10c/kg premium applied to grid for UK.20
        • 650 farmers through NSW, Vic & Tasmania accredited to supply the program.20
        • Audit costs (for farmers) are paid by JBS.20
          • Audits conducted by AsureQuality.20
        • Animals are consigned driect to JBS.20
        • forward pricing.20
        • Animals consigned through saleyards would not be eligible.20
  • “Today the margins are so tight that if you want a point of difference and that premium or no discount, you have got to be involved with quality assurance” Jeremy Upton, Producer.20
  • November. JBS Swift Australia install closed-circuit television camera’s (CCTV) in it’s Australian meatworks.19
    • For the purpose of animal welfare and meatworker safety issues.19
    • CCTV for internal use by only JBS, with no plans to allow outsiders to view the footage.19
  • JBS’s US beef division (which includes Australia) delivered drop in net sales and earnings in it’s third quarter financial results.22
    • Australia’s division performance and overall contribution to the overall result is impossible to distinguish due to inclusion with US and Canadian beef processing results.21
    • Earnings before tax $134M,.21
      • Down by 22.5% on previous quarter.21
      • Down by 28.4% on third quarter last year.21
    • result reflection of domestic North American markets.21
      • Improved performance had occured in Australian.21
        • Demand had increased in Chinese markets.21


  • April. Longford is the only multi species processing plant in Tasmania at this point
  • Integration of the King Island beef kill into the Longford business has delivered better effiecncies and success at the plant with economies of scale not previously available.18
    • Longford is a more robust business than prior to integration.18
    • Longford now hs the ability and consistency to supply key markets.18
      • China, European union, US, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Russia.18
    • Production has increased to 500 beef and 1,700 small-stock being processed a day.18
  • Grading quality of Tasmanian livestock is high quality, non HGP, non GMO.18
  • Beef sales, focused on direct sales to export and retail.18
  • Lamb sales focus on supply of domestic, retail and food service.18
    • including commodity lamb and mutton into China.18
  • Everything that can be value-added in the form of meat and byproducts at Longford is processed on site.18
  • All of the plant’s kill and much of the lamb production is boned, sliced and packed in 2 fabrication room.18
  • JBS no longer required to send animals for processing to the mainland.18
    • sausage making plant.18
    • packaged corn beef and lamb shanks for retail.18
    • By products rendering plant makes 25t tallow a day.18
    • lamb skins are graded and salted for weekly tender.18
    • cattle hides are sold green (unprocessed) to a local hide merchant.18
  • 300 producers support the Great Southern Farm assurance production program.18
  • Staff numbers at the plant had reached 450 employees.18
    • Devonport (domestically licensed) employing 150.18
    • Work was less seasonal and had better security.18
    • Future leaders program pathway available – Career Leadership Opportunities.18
  • July. JBS Australia across all facilities in operation kills daily14
    • 8,500 cattle,14
    • 24,000 smalls – which includes lambs14
    • Employs more than 8,000 people14
  • December. JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states15
    • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)15
    • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities15
      • Employs 12,000 people in Australia15
    • Total revenue of $6.5B15
  • JBS plants 2014_edited-1

    JBS processing plants in Australia

    Source JBS submission #50 Market Consolidation.

    • JBS estimates its current share of four eastern states beef kill – 20% (excludes service kill)15
      • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%15
      • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
    • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 201415


    • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country15
    • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA15
      • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour15
      • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA15
        1. Government regulation
          • $10 a head more in Australia15
          • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification15
            • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M15
            • JBS contribute $14.5M15
          • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs15
            • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level15
          • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors15
        2. Energy Costs
          • $15 a head more in Australia15
      • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs15
        • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets15
          • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts15


Sources Longford Tas. JBS

  1. ‘Support for KI meatworks’ The Mercury 18.06.13
  2. ‘Abattoir closure claims unfounded’ The Stock and Land. 27.06.13
  3. ‘Abattoir closure warning’ http://www.mercury.com.au 26.06.2013
  4. http://www.jbsswift.com.au
  5. ‘Expansion plans ahead for JBS Longford – one of Australia’s most versatile meat plants’ Beef Central 21.10.2013
  6. ‘Woolies sticks by kickback butcher’ SMH 15.01.2007
  7. ‘Tasman Services fulfil final payouts’ The Examiner 23.10.2003
  8. ‘Big Beef producer cuts deal with Tasman Group’ The Age. 06.03.2008
  9. ‘SBA foods sell to Tasman Group Services’  Stock & Land 19.03.2002
  10. ‘End of the Tasmanian Ugg Boot’ The Examiner 03.03.2009
  11. ‘Submission to Select committee on Agriultural and related Industries – Inquiry into food production in Australian’
  12. ‘Abattoir cutback inconveniences lamb company’ ABC rural. 26.02.2009
  13. ‘Australia: Union shuts down picket of locked out meatworkers’ http://www.wsws.org 29.12.2010
  14. ‘The next Swift Shift’ The Weekly Times 30.07.2014
  15. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  16. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  17. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  18. ‘JBS expands its books’ Stock & Land 24.04.2014
  19. ‘Swift CCTV camera action’ Weekly Times 13.11.2013
  20. ‘JBS unveils new QA driven southern grassfed brand program’ Beef Central 27.09.2013
  21. ‘JBS delivers lower third quarter beef sales, revenue’ Beef Central 14.11.2013

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