Category Archives: Northern QLD

Mackay

Mackay abattoir, owned by NH Foods trading as Thomas Borthwick and sons is a modern and currently operating facility. Organically accredited specialising in high quality grass fed beef.

Other Names

  • Thomas Borthwick
  • Borthwick’s meatworks
  • Nippon Mackay

Current Operation

  • Is currently in operation as at 2016.

Location

  • Mackay is located on the east coast of Queensland, Approximately 970km north of Brisbane, 334 km north of Rockhampton and 394km south of Townsville.
  • The Nippon Mackay abattoir is located at Bakers Creek approximately 10km south of Mackay.
    Aust. Mackay

Mackay

Owner

Operation

  • Mackay is certified for organic beef production.2
    • Specialising in high quality, chilled grass fed beef
    • Cattle are sourced from mainly Central QLD
    • Export markets include Japan, USA, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Russia, Europe, Taiwan, Mexico, Ukrain and Indonesia.13
  • Nippon currently own 3 abattoirs in Australia,

Other Abattoirs in the region

Pentland (QLD)

Ross River abattoir (QLD)

Townsville – Stuart (QLD)

Australian abattoir locations

abattoirs_edited-1

To access this map go to Australian Abattoirs – Google map interactive

History of Mackay meat processing facility

1890’s

  • Recognition that the export trade of meat needs to be developed for the economic benefit of Australian producers (Pg 1041).1
    • Existing low values are due to fact that half to one third of surplus meat is exported.1
    • Should be exporting 250,000 to 300,000 carcases of beef.1
    • £1M pounds is required to construct meatworks.1
    • If not constructed £10M pounds could be added to existing capital of the banks and still their securities would be unprofitable(Pg 1042).1
  • Parliament develope “The Meat and Dairy Produce Encouragement Act”(Pg 1042).1
    • Levy imposed on both cattle and sheep.1
    • 2 funds .1
      1. Dairying herds
      2. Beef herds
    • Fund allows for establishment of meatworks at.1
      • Pinkenba
      • Bowen
      • Redbank
      • Cardwell
      • Broadsound
      • Gladstone
      • Brisbane
      • Charleville
      • Mackay
      • Biboohra (Mareeba)
      • Burketown and
      • Sellheim

1905

  • Mackay abattoir inception.56
  • Authors note – there is a significant discrepancy as to when this site was established.

1954

  • Beef Cattle in the district of Mackay totalled 268,809 head.15
  • Meeting is held to discuss possibility of establishment of an abattoir in Mackay.15
    • If constructed must allow for extension to cope with increase in cattle export.15
  • Mackay Local Abattoir board applied for £5,000 debenture loan to build the facility.15
    • Refused by 5 Insurance companies
    • Refused by 2 banks and
    • Public curator

1965

  • July. Mackay, Baker’s Creek works opens – Borthwicks.16

1980’s

  • The Australian beef trading/processing environment is worsening(Pg 119).5
    • QLD Cattle herd in 1975 was 14M head.5
      • QLD Cattle herd in 1987 is 9M.5
    • There is low utilisation rates through meatworks and the need to reduce the number the meatworks is seen to improve efficency and reduce operational costs (Pg 120).5

1983

  • Federal Industries Assistance Commission produce a report that reveals the Australian meat processing industry has 38% excess capacity (Pg 126).7

1986 

  • April. Joint Venture Proposal is begun to amalgamate.7
    • FJ Walkers (Owned by Elders IXL)
      • Already own 10 abattoirs, including 4 key export works and meat packing plants in Australia (Pg 119).5
    • Metro Meat Industries
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries
    • Tancred Bros
    • Thomas Borthwick & Sons
      • Borthwicks to add their plants of  Mackay and Bowen (QLD).7
  • Wide spread concern of potential domination of the QLD beef market by the merger entity (Pg 127).7
  • May. Trade Practices Commission (TPC) holds a investigation.7
  • June. TPC announce will not place legal impediment to the merger.7
  • July. Borthwicks  withdraw from talks(pg 120).5
    • Borthwicks had operation problems of it’s own and wanted to sell all Australian assets including hides and skin processing not just jewels of Bowen and Mackay.5
    • Portland (Vic) would be particularly difficult to sell due to union unrest.5

1987

  • Is listed in Aus-Meat Accreditation List as Establisment #67.8
    • Borthwick. T & Sons Ltd.

1988 

  • January. Teys Brothers are in discussion with Borthwick to purchase Borthwick Australian assets and a Japanese branch of the company (Pg 121).5
  • Teys had been in a joint venture with Canada Packers (Pg 121).5
    • Canada Packers withdrew from the joint venture which influenced Teys to seek financial backing from Kerry Packer in bidding for the Borthwick assets
    • Purchase price $25M Australian
  • AMH saw the ‘new entrant’, Teys as a threat to AMH’s ability to remain profitable and achieve further rationalisation in the northern region (Pg 122).5
  • AMH commented that Borthwick operations were the main price competition in QLD (Pg 122).5
    • If Borthwicks not in the market AMH would earn $10 a head more per animal.5
  • AMH offered Borthwicks $29M for Australian Assets (Pg 122)
  • TPC advised AMH not to proceed without their consultation as they would likely contravene Sec 50 Trade Practices Act and likely dominate the QLD cattle market (Pg 123).5
  • TPC placed an injunction for AMH to withdraw offer (Pg 123).5
    • AMH resisted arguing the the order would likely allow Teys to purchase without actual determination of contravention of section 50.5
    • AMH  offered undertaking that Borthwicks business’s would be maintained and conducted independently and in competition with the business of AMH.5
    • TPC accepted but possible divestiture order was of significant commercial risk to AMH.5
      • TPC announced an inquiry was to be held.5
    • Borthwicks sale to AMH was accepted 26/01/1988
  • Borthwick Hides and skins business were immediately sold.5
  • All remaining parts of Borthwicks were combined with AMH
  • February. TPC begins inquiry.5
    • TPC accepts that northern QLD is a seperate market to central and southern QLD.5
    • AMH control 5 of the 10 abattoirs in the region.5
  • Bowen abattoir could lift total regional slaughter capacity to over 76.76%.5
  • TPC ruled AMH had contravened section 50.5
    • Ruling was AMH must divest itself of Bowen & Mackay
      • Could retain control of Portland (pg 128).7
    • 3 months to do so
    • appeals and cross appeals conducted.
  • Trade Practices Commission forced sale due to AMH having dominant market share.2
  • March. TPC final judgement ruling on AMH case (Pg 123).5
    • Case is held as precedent on what constitutes the geographical limits of a product market
  • While the court case was in process AMH had been operating the plants(Pg 123).5
    • Profits from them had been above market expectations.5
    • Bowen was of marginal importance
    • Mackay was significant because of the access to lucrative Japanes market (Pg 128).7
  • AMH offered QLD plants to Anglo Irish $32M (Pg 124).5
    • initially Anglo Irish accepted but revalued plants at considerably less and withdrew from the deal
  • TPC increased pressure on AMH to sell plants (pg 124).5
    • If AMH didn’t sell them TPC would put plants up for public auction at market price
  • Nippon Meat Packers, in consortium with Mackay Sugar to purchase the Bowen and Mackay plants (Pg 123,86).5
    • reported $32M

1997

  • July. Is listed at this point in time in Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing.9
    • Beef Export Abattoir #67 Thomas Borthwick & Sons P/L
  • November. Nippon announce closure of the plant.17
    • Loss of employment of 450 workers
  • government encourage company and unions to continue negotiations of a new EBA.17
    • With government prepared to offer assistance package to facilitate new investment in the plant to bring up to world class standards if agreement is reached

1990

8. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

Proportion of cattle slaughtered by ownership of abattoirs 1990
Source ABARES foreign ownership 2011 Pg 31

1991

  • 77 Beef export Abattoirs are in operation in Australia at this time.51
    • 27 have some level of foreign ownership.51
    • Ownership dominated by Japan, UK and the US.51

1994

  • Nippon purchase (Pg 86).5 Wingham (NSW)
    • Wingham is a major beef exports facility.5
    • Tomen sells it’s interest to Nippon.5
      • Major shareholder in Anvic Meat Exports Pty Ltd.5

1995

  • Simon Stahl is appointed manager of the Mackay Plant57

1997

  • Nippon has invested $200M in abattoirs and feedlots over the previous decade(Pg 86).5
    • 3rd Largest meat processor in Australia.5
    • Exporting to 34 countries.5

NH foods Oakey export_edited-1

NH Foods holdings. Source www.nh-foods.com.au – General Information accessed 21/12/2015

2000

  • Seasonal closure date of works 20/12/2000.19

2001

  • Seasonal re-opening date of works 22/01/2001.19

2002

  • Mackay facility is currently operating.20
    • 5 days per week.20
      • Day and Afternoon
      • Voluntary Saturdays
    • Processing 1,020 head per day.20

2003

  • February. Borthwicks fined $15,000 after 3 employees overcome by carbon monoxide gas in a chiller room.37

2004

  • March. Borthwicks fined $40,000 for spilling 4 tonnes of tallow into Bakers Creek after a pumping tank overflowed.37
  • May. Borthwicks fined $40,000 due to death of a trainee export buyer when a stack of frozen meat fell on him.37
  • Paid $334,000 compensation to an employee who suffered permanent disability due to cabon monoxide incident.37
  • July. Facility was shut down 12 hours and 350 employees evacuated due to ammonia spill.37

2008

  • Is listed at this point in time in Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing.10
    • Export Abattoir ( Beef Offal) A+
      • #67 Thomas Borthwick & Sons

2005

  • Rockhampton – Lakes Creek (QLD) receives $660,000 federal grant to re-open it’s meatworks under Regional partnerships program.21
    • Rockhampton Lakes Creek had closed in 2002, 1,200 staff lost jobs.21
    • Jointly owned by Teys Investments Pty Ltd and Consolidated Pastoral Company Pty Ltd (Kerry Packer).21
  • Neither Rockhampton (AMH) or Mackay (Nippon) received any finanical support.21
    • Both sites are in direct competition with Rockhampton Lakes Creek.21
  • October. Mackay embarks on extensive recruitment drive locally but to practically no avail.22
    • workers have left to seek employment in the mining industry.22
  • Mackay employs 20 Brazillian boners to replace local workers.22
    • 2 year working Visa, after which they can apply for Australian citizenship.22
    • Workers will receive $950 a week.22
      • In Brazil they earned $200 a month, same work.22
  • Borthwicks plan to import more Brazilian workers next year.22
  • December. 2005 has seen a 50% turnover in the 500 plus staff at the plant.23
  • Borthwicks will employ up to 50 Brazilians in 2006.23
  • Mackay plant contributed to the Mackay economy in 2005.23
    • $17M in wages.23
    • Purchased 150,000 head of stock at cost of $135M.23
      • Numbers down due to restricted supply of cattle due to drought and graziers holding cattle to rebuild herds

QLD Drought 2003_2005_edited-1

Queensland drought situation 2003 – 2005 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

  • Plant seasonal closure 18/12/2005.23

2006

  • Planned seasonal opening Mid January first shift.23
    • second shift in February
  • January. Plan to process 190,000 this year.24
  • Processed 160,000 last year.24
    • 50 Brazilian staff employed
    • some South African tradesmen due to start soon
  • New staff will allow production throughput to lift from 600 to more than 900 head a day.24
    • Staff numbers in total to almost 520
  • August. Up to 30 workers lost jobs due to short supplies of cattle.25
    • second boning shift has been suspended
  • Employees say had less than 25 minutes notice of their termination.25
  • Staff cuts based on ‘last on, first off’ basis.25
  • Australian workers saying they lost their jobs while imported workers kept theirs.25
  • Production to drop from targets of 900 head to 650 head daily.25
  • Shortage of cattle and workers has taken it’s toll.25
  • To operate effectively the facility needs to hire an additional 140 people.25
  • 2 workers who had been on probation period loose their employment after consideration of their performance by the company.26
    • Was done in accordance with EBA
    • Both offered work for the day and one to the end of the week

2007

  • August. 40 Brazilian workers on 457 Visa’s travelled to Rockhampton to meet with AMH for employment at the plant in Rockhampton.27
    • AMH recently been taken over by JBS Friboi
  • September. Federal Member from QLD, National Party, De-Anne Kelly says AMH Holdings is threatening the viability of smaller abattoirs by poaching their overseas workers.28
    • Claims 18 Brazilian workers left a local abattoir to work at Dinmore (QLD).
    • Another 30 workers set to leave Mackay – Nippon Meat Packers
  • October. Meatworks will cut pockets off employee overalls and conduct random searches to prevent stealing of gallstones.29

2008

  • January. Seasonal start up expected to begin 24/01/2008.30
  • Anticpating a great year at the meatworks.30
    • Have had 4 years of struggling against drought and labour problems.30
      • turnover of 35 staff every month.30
    • Borthwicks imported workers on ‘457 visas’ from Brazil, South Africa and the Cook Islands.30
      • housed and looked after by the company.30
    • Another 40 Brazilians, as well as Ireland and South Africans with 50 locals would begin.30
    • Mining has shown a significant slowdown in job offers.30
      • At the peak 600 mining jobs were advertised regularly now only 200.30
    • Existing 350 workforce will soon be joined by 100 more.30
    • Expect to process 150,000 head of cattle.30
      • Increase of 10% on previous year.30
  • “It’s been depressing for 4 years, If it weren’t for the fact we were foreign owned we would have had to close” Simon Stahl. Manager at Borthwicks.30
  • Seasonal conditions had improved significantly in the area.30
    • southern regions were still drought stricken.30

2008

  • June. Borthwicks meatworker is awarded $84,587 in damages for workplace injury.31
    • Total damages award was $102,028.31
      • Work Cover received $17,441.31
  • July. Abattoir will be forced to close for 2 days due to a Truck strike that will affect cattle deliveries.32
    • Truck strike was due to concerns of increased registration costs, harsher penalties for working extra hours.32
    • lack of rest stops forced truck drivers to drive longer than they wanted.32

2009

  • January. Seasonal opening 27/01/2009.33
  • A Halal slaughterman is employed allowing the facility to sell beef to Islamic countries.33
    • lucrative market.33
    • more difficult to access than previous years due to protocols.33
    • Many Muslims around the world interested in Australian beef.33
  • Expected to process 150,000 cattle through the year.33
  • December. Borthwicks loose a Supreme Court appeal against a fine for a workplace accident.34
    • 2 accidents combined total of $114,000.34

2007_2009_edited-1

Queensland drought situation 2007 – 2009 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

2010

  • October. Joint research is conducted using the abattoir waste solids in the pyrolysis process.35
  • Waste to Energy. MLA project A.ENV.0101 March 2011
    • solid waste streams from red meat processing are generally disposed of at cost by the abattoir.35
    • study was to look at ways the waste can be treated through anaerobic/aerobic biological treatment and improving management practices, reducing disposal costs and minimising fossile fuel consumption.35
    • Ways for the abattoir to produce their own renewable energy.35

IBIS Jun 2010_edited-1

Major Companies in the Australian Red meat processing industry

Source IBIS world June 2010

2011

  • January. Devastating floods across Central and southern QLD and large parts of NSW and Victoria.52
    • affected slaughter numbers to abattoirs.52
  • June. Injured foreign meatworker lodges compensation claim Borthwicks $740,000.36
    • Began work at facility February 2006 earning $807 a week.36
    • Worked until Mid August 2009, then placed on light duties until early 2010.36
      • Employment was terminated due to injuries.36
    • Claims that not enough staff or rest breaks are provided.36
    • Typical work day.36
      • Start 6am
      • Take a 7 minute break at 7.20am
      • 20 minute break at 8.30am
      • 7 minute break 10.15am
      • 30 minutes for lunch at 11.15am
      • 7 minute break at 12.45pm
      • 10 minutes at 1.50pm
      • Finish at 2.45pm.
  • July. Borthwicks found guiltyof failing to discharge workplace health and safety obligations for incident that had occured 8/10/2007 when a meatworker had been trapped between a metal beam and shelving.37
  • September. Borthwicks finsed $70,000 for trapped foot incident.38
    • Borthwicks had provided training to the worker and had safety measures in place that had not been disregarded by Borthwicks.38
    • Finding was based on Borthwicks failing risk management.38

 

2012

  • Currently processing 750 head a day.2
  • January. Mackay meatworks seasonal opening about 24/01/2012.39
  • Manager. Simon Stahl leaves and is appointed CEO of NCMC at Casino57
  • November. Australia’s negotiations with Korean beef export market need to be finalised.40
    • Korean Beef trade is worth $770M.40
    • Delays have stalled with Gillard insistance that an Investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in the agreement be excluded.40
    • Korea is Australia’s 3rd largest beef export market.40
      • 2011 146,347 tonnes
      • 15% of Australia’s global beef exports
      • Currently 49% of Korean beef imports
    • Delays in FTA are causing high costs to processors.40
  • Australia’s market position would decline dramatically in 2013 to Korea if the EFT is not finalised soon.40
    • US beef has significant advantages over Australia.40
      • January 2015 will seee US gain a 5.3% tariff advantage
        • Australian been incures 40% tariff to Korea
      • Tariff widens 2.66% each January
        • US entering Korea Tariff free 2026
    • If the FTA is not finalised with similar tariff to US markets.40
      • Australia will incur cumulative loss A$1.4B over 15 years
      • Australia’s share of Korean market falling from current 49% to 26% in 2026.

 Profit Margins_edited-1Nippon Meat Packers Revenue Source IBIS world 2010,2013

revenue_edited-1

Nippon Meat Packers Profit Earnings Source IBIS world 2010,2013

2013

  • Mackay abattoir throughput of meat.41
    • 90% exported
    • 10% for domestic sales
  • Distribution of beef enterprises in the Mackay Whitsunday region is 80% coastal and 20% hinterland.41
    • Many producers combine sugarcane and pasture improvment with cattle production or fattening

2014

  • Nippon Meat Packers Pty Ltd changes name to NH Foods.55
  • Logo NH oakey exports_edited-1

    NH Foods Australia Logo Source  www.nh-foods.com.au

  • April Frozen beef shipments to Russia are temporarily suspended from 07/04/2014.44
    • A similar suspension occurred 31/03/2014 for chilled beef.44
    • Temporary suspension of beef offal imports occurred 27/01/2014.44
  • Wingham exports meat to Russia affected, along with another 29 Australian establishments.44
    • Australia placed additional requirements on its testing requirements.44
    • Russia detected Trenbolone 21/03/2014.44
    • Australian authorities held an immediate meeting with Russian counterparts.44
      • providing details of testing and invited Russia to inspect Australian meat establishments.44
      • Trenbolone is not produced from cattle treated with HGP’s.44
      • Russia has a zero tolerance, most countries have a maximum residue limit.44
  • Russia placed new requirements of detection of Trenbolone.44

 

  • Russia may consider Asia, Chinese port and Indian buffalo meat imports to replace decrease is supplies from the US, European union and Australia.44
  • Australia has been a traditional beef exporter to Russia since the 1970’s.44
    • To July 2012 – June 2013 exported 24,000 tonnes
    • To July 2013 – February 2014 20,000t
    • Trade is worth more than $170M a year
    • Russia is a declining market for Australian beef exports
    • Calendar year to date Russia taken only 1,221t beef
    • Full year exports 2010 and 2011 topped 60,000 tonnes
  • Tropical cyclone Ita hits far north QLD coast.

 

Cyclone Ita April 2014_edited-1

Tropcial Cyclone Ita impacts QLD April 2014 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

  • May. Mackay region producers are fairing better with climate conditions than Western QLD.42
    • Drought a significant factor in many areas of QLD
  • Other factors affecting producers are.42
    • high Australian dollar
    • rising debts
    • surplus of cattle due to halting of live export with Indonesia in 2011
  • July. Australia is on the verge of finalising a FTA with Japan.43
    • 97% of exporters set to get preferential treatment or be duty free
    • Japan’s standard 38.5% tariff on frozen beef will be cut to 19.5%
    • Fresh beef exports tariff will drop to 23.5% over the next 15 years
    • Beef Offal, worth $167M will also have reduced tariff and increased quota
  • December. Korea-Australia Free trade agreement enters into force 12/12/2014.50
    • Initially an immediate cut to some tariffs with a further cut 01/01/2015.50

2015

  • January. MLA forecast.53
    • Australian cattle herd has gone from 35 year high (2013) to 20 year low (2015).53
      • Australian cattle herd slip to 26.8M head by June 2015
      • by 2016 expected decline to 26.5M head
      • by 2020 27.9M head
    • Adult cattle slaughter expected to slump 15% year on year.53
      • 2015 to 7.8M head
      • 2020 expected 7.9M slaughter
      • Long term Female average in 2014 52%
        • Normally female kill percentage 47%
          • Only in years 1977, 1998 & 2003 has female kill been above 50%
    • Beef exports record levels in 2014 1.39M tonnes shipped weight.53
      • Expected to drop 20% to 1.3M tonnes in 2015

 

 

2013_2015_edited-1

QLD Drought Situation 2013 – 2015 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

  • March. Foreign ownership  in Australian red meat processing.

Nippon share_edited-1

Share of Australian red meat processing

Source The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015

  • April. FK Gardiner & Sons plan to build an abattoir, Darling Downs, Toowoomba.46

 

abattoir capacities dept ag sub consolidation_edited-1

Capacity of major beef abattoirs in QLD. Pg 15

T2 Throughput state beef_edited-1

Share of throughput by state for beef in 2014. Pg 16

T4 processing companies market share_edited-1

Major Processing companies by market share May 2015. Pg 16

M4 direct cattle movements NLIS QLD_edited-1

Cattle Movements to abattoirs. Pg 25

F12 hourly labour costs food manufacturing_edited-1

Hourly labour costs for food manufacturing industry Pg 30

  •  December. Currently listed in Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing
    • #67 Thomas Borthwick & Sons Pty Ltd Export Abattoir (Beef Offal) A+.11
  • Mackay abattoir has a current listing as EUCAS accredited abattoir.12
  • Export markets of Borthwick’s include Japan, USA, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Russia, Europe, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Ukraine, Indonesia.13
  • Plant is Halal certified.13
  • Current processing in excess of 750 cattle per day.13
  • Plant closed 10 days earlier than usual for seasonal break.48
  • December. Mackay plant expects it will have to compete hard for cattle in 2016.48
    • Industry has been slaughtering cattle at record rates for the past 3 years.48
      • inevitable a shortage would arrive
    • Current El Nino cycle is creating fear that the rainfall will be reduced in the upcoming wet season.48
      • some graziers are destocking

 

  • American Trim market dropped significantly the last few months.48
    • some processors going into the red
  • Predicts Asian markets opportunities will emerge.48
    • more value add on products
    • Meatworks will look to expand to enable ability to use more of the carcase
    • will see every harvestable portion of organs to be packed

 

  • December. ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.54
    • Data interpretation – Companies do not pay company tax on revenue (total income) they pay on profits after paying all expenses, including wages, capital replacement, supplier costs and other operating expenses.54
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.54
  • NH Foods produced Total Income $845,824.273.54
    • Nil taxable income and nil tax payable.54

 

2016

  • January. KAFTA third round of tariff cuts occur 01/01/2016.49
    • Fresh, chilled and frozen beef has a current tariff 34.6%.49
      • Will reduce to 32%
      • Original level was 40%
      • Meat export is worth $A1.07B in 2014/15
      • Korea has always been one of biggest meat export markets
        • Shipments for lamb have increased 35%

 

Sources of Mackay Abattoir

  1. QLD beef industry 1962. pdf
  2. ‘Northern Australian Beef Industry – Assessment of opportunities and risks’ ABARE 2012
  3. House of Representatives Petition. Abattoirs. 09.03.1998.
  4. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn
  5. ‘Meat Processing in Australia’ IBIS World. June 2010
  6. ‘Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat Processing Industry’ J OLeary 2008
  7. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing Nov 1987
  8. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing July 1997
  9. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing 18.07.2008
  10. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing. Accessed 31.12.2015
  11. EUCAS accreditation Dept. Ag. 25.02.2015
  12. www.nh-foods.com.au/thomas-borthwick-sons/
  13. NH Foods brands
  14. ‘Mackay district’ www.trove.nla.gov.au 01.12.1954
  15. www.mackayhistory.org
  16. ‘Mackay Meatworks’ QLD Government media release 11.11.1997
  17. ‘Competition & Exit in Meat Processing’ J Rolfe, R Reynolds 1999
  18. www.cattlefacts.com.au. Work Recess Dates 2000-2001
  19. www.archive.amieu.net 02.07.2002
  20. ‘Packer firm given grant for abattoir’ Sydney Morning Herald 19.02.2005
  21. ‘Meatworks imports workers? The boys from Brazil’ Daily Mercury 21.10.2005
  22. ‘Meatworks to recruit 50 new workers from Brazil’ Daily Mercury 17.12.2005
  23. ‘Abattoir lifts staff numbers’ Daily Mercury 30.01.2006
  24. ‘Struggling abattoir axes 30 workers’ Daily Mercury 21.08.2006
  25. ‘Meatworkers angry at more job losses’ Daily Mercury 23.08.2006
  26. ‘Meatworks hopes to keep workers in Mackay’ ABC News 02.08.2007
  27. ‘More workers to leave Borthwicks abattoir’ ABC Rural 07.09.2007
  28. ‘Abattoir beefs up security after gallstone thefts’ www.mg.co.za 05.10.2007
  29. ‘Our Cash Cows’ Daily Mercury 17.01.2008
  30. ‘Injured worker wins $84,000 payout’ Daily Mercury 10.06.2008
  31. ‘Truck Strike will cause Borthwicks shut-down’ Daily Mercury 26.07.2008
  32. ‘Halal slaughterman to boost Mackay beef exports’ ABC News 27.01.2009
  33. ‘Borthwicks loses court appeal’ Daily Mercury 17.12.2009
  34. Waste to Energy. MLA project A.ENV.0101 March 2011
  35. ‘Injured meatworker sues works’ Daily Mercury 24.06.2011
  36. ‘Meatworker trapped for 20 minutes’ www.questia.com (partial article) 19.07.2011
  37. ‘Company must pay $70,000’ Daily Mercury 12.09.2011
  38. ‘Stock carriers hope for a better year’ Daily Mercury 09.01.2012
  39. ‘Korean beef trade under threat’ The Land 14.11.2012
  40. State of Agriculture region report 2013.
  41. ‘Mackay graziers cash in on strong seasons’ Daily Mercury 08.05.2013
  42. ‘Australia’s free trade agreement with Japan could see prices fall for consumers’ www.news.com 08.07.2014
  43. ‘Update on Russia’s suspension on Australian beef’ Beef Central 03.04.2014
  44. The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015
  45. ‘FKG plans processing move’ QLD Country Life 30.04.2015
  46. Dept Ag. Submission to Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector July 2015
  47. ‘Mackay meatworks gets ready to compete….’ ABC Rural 17.12.2015
  48. ‘Korea cuts import tariffs further’ www.farmonline.com.au 01/01/2016
  49. Trade Minister Media release 03.12.2014
  50. ABARES foreign ownership 2011
  51. ‘Slow season opening for processors’ Beef Central 11.01.2012
  52. ‘MLA forecasts beef market adjustment’ The Land 27.01.2015
  53. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  54. www.nh-foods.com.au
  55. Mackay Planning. Connecting Mackay
  56. ‘New CEO for Casino plant’ Beef Central 15.02.2012

Queensland abattoirs listed – regions

North Queensland

Ayr abattoir (QLD)

Small processor located 90km south of Townsville, currently in operation

Biboohra abattoir (QLD)

Historical abattoir closed in 1927, Also known as Baron works, located near Mareeba.

Owned by MJ Munro, operated as a slaughterhouse in the early days and then a cannery.

Bowen abattoir (QLD)

Located 230km south of Townsville on the QLD coast.Was in operation at 1919, went through fires, labour disputes and temporary closures. Purchased by AMH, the final owners and permanently closed in 1997.

Cairns abattoir (QLD)

Cairns (more commonly known as Queerah meatworks) was located in far north QLD received cattle from mainly north Australia, often by Barge from the NT and Normanton that had travelled from the gulf of Carpentaria in the 1960’s to 1975. Began to export in 1950’s closed in 1989 as part of the AMH rationalisation strategy of its abattoir capacity through the 1980’s.

Camooweal abattoir (QLD)

Located 190km northwest of Mt Isa, small processor currently operating that supplies own butchery for retail.

Canon Vale (QLD)

A small local processor currently in operation, located 70 km south of Bowen between Townsville and Mackay.

Cape River abattoir (QLD)

Located  south west of Townsville. Closed in 1986 due to the AMH  rationalisation strategy of its abattoirs capacity through the 1980’s.

Pentland abattoir (QLD)

Built prior to WWII, At one stage was the 2nd largest meatworks in Queensland. Last owned by AMH consortium, closed in 1989

Ross River abattoir (QLD)

Built in 1882, QLD meat export agency formed supplied contracts for supply of product to England. Plagued by industrial action its whole operating life most notably in 19919 when a violent clash between the unions and police occurred. Been through ownership receiver, beef price crash, strikes, droughts and market changes. Smorgons meat processors, last owner collapses in 1994, facility closed in 1995. Site now developed as a residential site with only the chimney still remaining as a historic site.

Tolga abattoir (QLD)

Small processor currently operating near Cairns

Townsville – Stuart

Owned by JBS. Large beef processor located in far north QLD

Tully abattoir (QLD)

Small processor currently operating between Cairns and Townsville

Weipa abattoir (QLD)

Small local processor

Central Queensland

Charleville abattoir – goat processor (Central QLD)

A goat processing facility that is currently operating located in central QLD. This facility exports all its production. Has had past problems of securing visa workers to ensure ability to process production. Floods have affected operations and government costs while plant has been closed at different periods.

Clermont abattoir (QLD)

Small local processor

Cloncurry #1 abattoir (QLD)

Small local processor currently operating

Cloncurry #2, proposed abattoir (QLD)

Proposal sponsored by DAFF 2012. Consider establishment of an abattoir at Cloncurry to process cattle from north west QLD and NT. Based on processing 100,000 heavy cattle per year, costing $49M to build not including land or government services. Marginal return expected on investment.

El Arish abattoir (QLD)

Located near Innisfail, a small processor that is currently operating.

Giru abattoir (QLD)

Domestic abattoir currently operating south of Townsville

Innisfail abattoir (QLD)

Owned by CMG then Teys, Hit by cyclone Larry in 2006, never to be reopened, equipment scrapped and auctioned off in 2011.

Mt Isa abattoir (QLD)

Built in the war years and closed in 1986

Southern Queensland

Beenleigh abattoir (QLD)

Large facility owned by Teys, currently in operation located south of Brisbane.Recently had a number of wage disputes. Invests heavily in new technology to optimise labour efficencies, currently operating 2 shifts processing 1,300 cattle per day

Caboolture abattoir (QLD)

Located in Queensland, one of only 2 abattoirs in Australia accredited for export of horse meat.

Dinmore abattoir (QLD)

The largest meat processing plant in Australia, currently operating and owned by JBS Australia. Located near Brisbane QLD.

Kilcoy abattoir (QLD)

Located northwest of Brisbane and primarily processes grainfed cattle. 4th largest abattoir in Australia, currently operating.

Oakey abattoir (QLD)

Located near Toowoomba, a large processing facility of mainly grain-fed beef, owned by Nippon. Currently processing up to 1300 animals per day. Has undergone significant upgrades to enable traceability for organic certification and assurances, with current work being carried out on methane gas collection. Problems in the past have been market fluctuations, unions and costs of production

Surat abattoir – Kangaroo processor (QLD)

Games meat abattoir located south of Roma. Processes Kangaroo. Started in mid 1980’s, possibly now closed due to floods, debt and costs of services to operate.

Queensland abattoirs listed – A-Z

These are the abattoirs currently listed on this blog, it is not complete of all actual operations at this point in time

Ayr abattoir (Nth QLD)

Beenleigh abattoir (Sth QLD).

Biboohra abattoir (Nth QLD)

Bowen abattoir (Nth QLD)

Caboolture Abattoir (QLD). Owned by Meramist Pty Ltd. A beef and horse processing facility.

Cairns abattoir ( Nth QLD)

Camooweal abattoir (Nth QLD)

Canon Vale (Nth QLD)

Cape River abattoir (Nth QLD)

Charleville abattoir – goat processor (Central QLD)

Clermont abattoir (Central QLD)

Cloncurry abattoir #1 (Central QLD)

Cloncurry #2. proposed abattoir (Central QLD)

Dinmore abattoir (Sth QLD)

El Arish (Nth QLD)

Giru abattoir (Nth QLD)

Innisfail abattoir (Nth QLD)

Kilcoy currently in operation

Mt Isa Owned by AMH, closed in 1986

Oakey abattoir (Sth QLD). Owned by Nippon. Currently operating.

Pentland (Cape River). Built originally prior to WWII, Eventually owned by AMH, closed 1989

Rockhampton – Lakes Creek Owned by Teys Australia, currently in operation.

Roma #2 (Proposed) Maronoa council seeking funding to conduct a feasibility study in 2014

Ross River Built in 1882, transformed from boiling down works to cannery to abattoir and meat processor. Finally owned by Smorgons closed 1995, Now demolished.

Surat (Wild game – kangaroo) Kangaroo processing facility, was in operation as at 2013

Tolga abattoir (QLD) 

Townsville Stuart  Owned by JBS, Currently in operation

Tully abattoir (Nth QLD)

Weipa Was in operation as at 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Weipa

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating as at 2012.1

Location   


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

History

Year

Sources

    1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Bowen

Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4

Location   

  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Bergl (Australia) Ltd3
  • Thomas Borthwick & Son – owned 5-6 abattoirs in Australia (1933)3
  • AMH (1986)2
  • Nippon Meats (Japanese) purchased 1989.4
  • Nippon Meat Packers6
    • Subsidiary of a Japanese Multinational
    • Nippon meat packers incorporated 19786
  • products_edited-1Source Nippon Meat Packers Australia interactive beef products

    This is a great diagram that is able to be clicked on in the Nippon website and illustrates where the various cuts of beef and offal are located in the animals bodies

  •  Nippon currently own 3 operating abattoirs in Australia ( as at 2016)

Operation          

  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks

1890’s

  • Recognition that the export trade of meat needs to be developed for the economic benefit of Australian producers (Pg 1041).9
    • Existing low values are due to fact that half to one third of surplus meat is exported.9
    • Should be exporting 250,000 to 300,000 carcases of beef.9
    • £1M pounds is required to construct meatworks.9
    • If not constructed £10M pounds could be added to existing capital of the banks and still their securities would be unprofitable(Pg 1042).9
  • Parliament develope “The Meat and Dairy Produce Encouragement Act”(Pg 1042).9
    • Levy imposed on both cattle and sheep.9
    • 2 funds .9
      1. Dairying herds
      2. Beef herds
    • Fund allows for establishment of meatworks at.9
      • Pinkenba
      • Bowen
      • Redbank
      • Cardwell
      • Broadsound
      • Gladstone
      • Brisbane
      • Charleville
      • Mackay
      • Biboohra (Mareeba)
      • Burketown and
      • Sellheim

1894

  • Operation was started by local cattlemen.11
    • Cattle were selling for as low as 30/ per head.11
    • Only in operation for one year.11
  • Bergl purchased
    • Had connections with Houlden Bros – Boats known as Grange Line.11
  • Works employed 200-400 men.11
  • Killed an average of 15,000 cattle per annum.11
    • the best year being 30,000 head.11

1905

  • Bergl Australia acquire the small plant, at this time known as Merinda.9
    • Prior to this had been by Bowen Meat Export and Agency Co.10

1919

  • In operation

1932

  • November. Bowen works is purchased by Borthwick’s with the intention of commencement of export operations in 1933.11
  • Borthwicks had been operating Burdekin meatworks previous 2-3 years.11
    • have not continued with the lease.11
  • Prior to Borthwicks purchase the Bowen meatworks had been idle for sometime.11
    • Bergl had installed modern machinery in the previous year.11
    • Bergl did not intend to carry on in QLD.11
  • Borthwicks had obtained prominent army contracts.11
    • In 1923 securing bulk of the war office yearly contract of 6,000 tonnes for home command.11

1933

  • Borthwick & Son purchased. Rebuilt and made extensions.3

Thomas Borthwick_edited-1Source – QLD National State Library. #137304
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works. Undated

1941

  • Oil stove used to heat bitumen to seal cork insulation in the storage section caught fire3
  • Was 800t of meat in the store at the time.3
  • 300 employees killing 376 cattle a day for export

Bown - fire_edited-1Source QLD National Library. #137256
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works

1958

  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10

1960’s  

  • Closed overnight – Lord Borthwick unable to meet demands of unions and strikes1

1963

  • Is currently registered as a meat export works (Pg 314).5
    • Proprietor – Thos. Borthwick & Sons (A/Asia) Ltd

1980’s

  • The Australian beef trading/processing environment is worsening(Pg 119).5
    • QLD Cattle herd in 1975 was 14M head.5
      • QLD Cattle herd in 1987 is 9M.5
    • There is low utilisation rates through meatworks and the need to reduce the number the meatworks is seen to improve efficency and reduce operational costs (Pg 120).5

1983

  • Federal Industries Assistance Commission produce a report that reveals the Australian meat processing industry has 38% excess capacity (Pg 126).7

1986 

  • April. Joint Venture Proposal is begun to amalgamate.7
    • FJ Walkers (Owned by Elders IXL)
      • Already own 10 abattoirs, including 4 key export works and meat packing plants in Australia (Pg 119).5
    • Metro Meat Industries
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries
    • Tancred Bros
    • Thomas Borthwick & Sons
      • Borthwicks to add their plants of Mackay (QLD) and Bowen.7
  • Wide spread concern of potential domination of the QLD beef market by the merger entity (Pg 127).7
  • May. Trade Practices Commission (TPC) holds a investigation.7
  • June. TPC announce will not place legal impediment to the merger.7
  • July. Borthwicks  withdraw from talks(pg 120).5
    • Borthwicks had operation problems of it’s own and wanted to sell all Australian assets including hides and skin processing not just jewels of Bowen and Mackay.5
    • Portland (Vic) would be particularly difficult to sell due to union unrest.5

1987

  • Is listed in Aus-Meat Accreditation List as Establisment #723.8
    • Borthwick. T & Sons Ltd.

1988 

  • January. Teys Brothers are in discussion with Borthwick to purchase Borthwick Australian assets and a Japanese branch of the company (Pg 121).5
  • Teys had been in a joint venture with Canada Packers (Pg 121).5
    • Canada Packers withdrew from the joint venture which influenced Teys to seek financial backing from Kerry Packer in bidding for the Borthwick assets
    • Purchase price $25M Australian
  • AMH saw the ‘new entrant’, Teys as a threat to AMH’s ability to remain profitable and achieve further rationalisation in the northern region (Pg 122).5
  • AMH commented that Borthwick operations were the main price competition in QLD (Pg 122).5
    • If Borthwicks not in the market AMH would earn $10 a head more per animal.5
  • AMH offered Borthwicks $29M for Australian Assets (Pg 122)
  • TPC advised AMH not to proceed without their consultation as they would likely contravene Sec 50 Trade Practices Act and likely dominate the QLD cattle market (Pg 123).5
  • TPC placed an injunction for AMH to withdraw offer (Pg 123).5
    • AMH resisted arguing the the order would likely allow Teys to purchase without actual determination of contravention of section 50.5
    • AMH  offered undertaking that Borthwicks business’s would be maintained and conducted independently and in competition with the business of AMH.5
    • TPC accepted but possible divestiture order was of significant commercial risk to AMH.5
      • TPC announced an inquiry was to be held.5
    • Borthwicks sale to AMH was accepted 26/01/1988
  • Borthwick Hides and skins business were immediately sold.5
  • All remaining parts of Borthwicks were combined with AMH
  • February. TPC begins inquiry.5
    • TPC accepts that northern QLD is a seperate market to central and southern QLD.5
    • AMH control 5 of the 10 abattoirs in the region.5
  • Bowen abattoir could lift total regional slaughter capacity to over 76.76%.5
  • TPC ruled AMH had contravened section 50.5
    • Ruling was AMH must divest itself of Bowen & Mackay
      • Could retain control of Portland (pg 128).7
    • 3 months to do so
    • appeals and cross appeals conducted.
  • Trade Practices Commission forced sale due to AMH having dominant market share.2
  • March. TPC final judgement ruling on AMH case (Pg 123).5
    • Case is held as precedent on what constitutes the geographical limits of a product market
  • While the court case was in process AMH had been operating the plants(Pg 123).5
    • Profits from them had been above market expectations.5
    • Bowen was of marginal importance
    • Mackay was significant because of the access to lucrative Japanes market (Pg 128).7
  • AMH offered QLD plants to Anglo Irish $32M (Pg 124).5
    • initially Anglo Irish accepted but revalued plants at considerably less and withdrew from the deal
  • TPC increased pressure on AMH to sell plants (pg 124).5
    • If AMH didn’t sell them TPC would put plants up for public auction at market price
  • Nippon Meat Packers, in consortium with Mackay Sugar to purchase the Bowen and Mackay plants (Pg 123,86).5
    • reported $32M

1996

  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4

1997  

  • Closed.2

1998

  • March. Petition – Abattoirs,  presented to Parliament – 1,248 signatures. requesting4
    1. Revoke export licence for the Nippon Meat abattoirs at Mackay and Merinda: and4
    2. initiate a review of foreign investment guidelines in Australia to ensure that multi-national companies investing in Australia are bound by a code of conduct which protects the interests of all stakeholders, and not just overseas stakeholders.4

Sources

  1. Facebook KBS 16.01.13
  2. ‘Northern Australian Beef Industry – Assessment of opportunities and risks’ ABARE 2012
  3. ‘Fire Damages Bowen meat works’ Courier Mail 05.07.41
  4. House of Representatives Petition. Abattoirs. 09.03.1998.
  5. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn
  6. ‘Meat Processing in Australia’ IBIS World. June 2010
  7. ‘Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat Processing Industry’ J OLeary 2008
  8. ‘Aus-Meat Accreditation list November 1987
  9. QLD beef industry 1962. pdf
  10. ‘Triumph in the Tropics’ www.oesr.qld.gov.au 1959
  11. ‘Purchased by Borthwicks’ www.trove.nla.au 28.11.1932

Weipa

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 20121

Location             

Australia. Weipa Map. Weipa Source – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas 

             

Owner                 

  •  

Operation          

  • Small local processor1

History                

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Tully

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 20121

Location             

  Australia. Tully   

Map. Tully             

Owner                 

  •  

Operation          

  • Small local processor1

History                

 

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Tolga

Tolga is better known as Rocky Creek, a small multi species domestic abattoir located in far north Queensland.

Other Names.

  • Rocky Creek abattoir

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 20121

Location             

  • 80km SW Cairns

Australia. Tolga

Map. Tolga

Owner      

  • Victor Byrnes           

Direct Contact to facility

 

Operation          

  • Small local processor1
  • Source of most meat is from cattle sales on the tablelands2
  • Species Cattle, Goat, Pig, Buffalo, Deer, Horse3
  • Domestic prcessor only3
  • Certifications – Safe Food QLD, Halal, MSQA3
  • Employees – 6-503
  • Does service kill3
  • Abattoir is operated in conjunction with butcher shops in Cairns and on Atherton tablelands and property located in the cape Holroyd Station also owned by Byrne entities.5

History                

 1960

  • Byrnes family purchased a butcher shop in the Atherton tableland area2

1962

  • Purchased a slaughter yard facility at Tolga2
    • was ungraded in the following years to a fully accredited abattoir2

1989

  • Abattoir Australian Meat accredited 16th March 19892
    • all workers have full accreditation through Aus-Meat2
    • Facility currently licenced to process 150 cattle per day2
    • Quality assurance program is in place at the facility2
    • After slaughter carcases are sent to factory at Manunda2
  • Combined with other enterprises of farms, abattoir and processing, including retail outlets – whole group employ 110 staff2

1995

  • Plans to install a computerized slaughter floor and boning room ticketing system2

2007

  • Listing in RIDC3

2012

  • Discussion paper – Move towards establishment of a Tropical Grass Fed Beef supply chain and / or brand4
  • Within Tablelands regional council4
    • 289,293 estimated head of cattle4
    • region has potential to turnoff 40,000 high quality MSA cattle per year from 700 beef producers4
      • If $750 per head estimated turnoff $30M at gate4
    • 62,000 turnoff – 62% fats and stores, 40% breeders and followers4
    • 491 beef producers across area – herds range from few head to 250 head4
    • Over 80% producers have off farm income4
    • Only 3-4 producers actually employ others4
  • Dairy deregulation seen many properties converted to beef4
    • In April 2000 – 185 Dairy farmers producing 130ML milk4
    • Now less than 56 dairy farmers producing less than 56ML4
    • Most operations diary fewer than 300 cows and don’t employ external labour4
  • Major influences of local beef markets in recent years4
    • Closure of Innisfail abattoir (QLD). 2006
    • Nearest abattoir of any scale is located in Townsville – Owned by Swift & Co.4
      • Authors note – JBS now own this facility
    • Tolga abattoir is the nearest small abattoir to Tablelands4
    • Live export suspension to Indonesia (2011) made Northern producers look towards other marketing options.4
    • Land prices have increased astronically since 2000 (Tablelands Basalts average $5000/ac)4

2014

  • Halal slaughter has been conducted at the abattoir for a long period of time.6
  • Animals are stunned prior to slaughter.6

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.
  2. Byrnes Quality Meats website. Sourced 19.06.2014
  3. ‘New Animal Product Abattoirs in Australia’ RIDC 2007
  4. Discussion Paper – Move towards establishment of a Tropical Grass Fed Beef Supply Chain and/or Brand – Peter Spies 24.10.2012
  5. ‘Conservation and production go hand-in-hand at Holroyd’ Agforce 06.11.2009
  6. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-08/kindness-in-killing-is-the-muslim-way/5439542

Innisfail

Current Operation

  • Closed (2006)after cyclone Larry1

Location     

Australia. Innisfail jpg

Map. Innisfail         

Owner

  • CMG (as at 1999)2
  • Teys Bros3

Operation          

  • Export
  • Nominal Capacity 125,000hd as per 50 weeks. (as at 1999)2
  • Prior to Larry drought and cattle in short supply1

 History

2006 

  • Closed after Cyclone Larry, Equipment remained3

2011

  • September. Plant and Equipment went to Auction3

“We had a total working plant in Innisfail up until not that long ago and it was ready to work at any stage”(Alex Stubbs – Agforce)3

Sources

  1. Personal Communication. CM 16.01.13
  2. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  3. ‘Another Northern Abattoir bites the dust’ ABC rural. 21.09.11
  4. ‘AAco on track for Darwin abattoir’ Beef Central 26.09.2011

Cannon Vale

Other Names

  • Note there is a Cannon Hill abattoir located near Brisbane.

Current Operation

  • Operating (2012)1

Location             

  • 70 km S of Bowen, Bowen is between Townsville and Mackay

Australia. Cannon Vale

Map Cannon Vale

Owner                 

 

Operation          

  • Small local processor 1

History                

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.
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