Tag Archives: Abattoir history

Gepps Cross

The information in regards to the Gepps Cross processing facilities is taken from predominently one book , ‘The Meat Game – A History of the Gepps Cross Abattoirs and Livestock Markets by Richard Maurovic 2007.Published by Wakefield Press. ISBN 978-1-86254-726-1

Historical aspects are included of the Adelaide and metropolitan areas.

Acronymns

GPD              Government Produce Department

MAB             Metropolitan Abattoir Board

MEAB          Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Board

Years

1841

  • Parliamentary Act is introduced requiring licensing ‘for slaughter cattle intended for sale, barter, shipping or exportation’ (Pg 9)
  • A public slaughter yard was located in the Adelaide Parklands, Thebarton (Pg 9)
    • Authorised location for the slaughter of cattle  for the Adelaide Municipality
    • At the time it was against the law to slaughter cattle  in any other place within the city or within 3 miles of the parkland.
    • Facility was of modest scale and the cities butchers would slaughter their own cattle for a fee
    • It was not compulsory for lambs, sheep and pigs to be slaughtered at the public slaughter yard (pg 10)
    • Slaughtered animals were carried unchilled from slaughter house to their (butcher) shops (Pg 13)
      • During hot weather no stock of meat was kept on hand
      • Meat on display at retail was exposed to dogs, flies and dust
      • Maggots were common problem with pepper being used to deter them (Pg 13)
      • Some butchers had cellars to store meat.
      • A more hygienic method was recognised to be needed (pg 10)
  • Prior to the slaughter yard being built, Adelaide’s 38 butchers would slaughter stock at their own yards
    • butcher sites had no drainage facilities, sheep were stuck and bled over a blood-hole that had to be cleaned and created stench (pg 13)
  • Butchers outside the limits could slaughter stock if they held a licence and were inspected (pg 13)
  • Associated industries established near the slaughter facility along the River Torrens at the present site of the Thebarton Brewery (Pg 13)
    • Eventually they were forced to close due to public protests of health and pollution
  • Railway from Adelaide to Gawler was built (Pg 30)

1848

  • Sheep market area is set aside by proclamation of Government for the purpose of selling sheep (Pg 42)
    • 4 acres in the area of the North Parklands (Pg 42)
    • These facilities were used up until 1913 when the Gepps Cross yards were constructed (Pg 42)
    • This site became very cramped due to numbers being processed (Pg 42)

1860’s

  • Rise of the meat export trade due to outbreak of anthrax on the European continent that spread to England and Ireland devastating their domestic herds (Pg 149)
    • Australia was able to supply canned meats
    • Salted beef was shipped from America

1861

  • Method of cattle sales by auction is introduced (Pg 6)
    • Sales are conducted at the site currently (2006) known at Pyneham, Lower North East and Glynburn Roads (Pg 6)
    • Prior to auction cattle were valued according to weight and condition, butchers purchasing at a fixed price (Pg 41)
      • Price was set by the salesman (Pg 44)

1870’s

  • Great difficulty is found to dispose of old ewes and a boiling works is established (Pg 6)
    • Located at Port Adelaide (Off Henley Beach Road) at Mile End, operated by EM ‘Ned’ Bagot (Pg 6)
      • This facility closed when Leopald Conrad established works at Northfield, where the Yatal Prison is now (2006) located (Pg 9)
        • Yatala Prison area was formerly known as ‘The Stockade'(Pg 9)
    • Another boiling works was established on the Port River, at the present railway bridge of Ethelton, West Lakes (2006). Operated by Dean & Laughton (Pg 6)
      • This facility also started a canning operation but was not sucessful, being a venture ahead of its time (Pg 7)

1878

  • Proposal to establish a public abattoir away from the city was canvassed (Pg 15)
    • Ratepayers were asked to support a scheme to borrow £10,000 to  build an new abattoir and adjacent livestock market
    • Proposal was rejected and other polls taken in 1882, 1883 and 1898 also rejected the idea (Pg 15)

1882

  • Proposal to build an abattoir out of the city is rejected for the 2nd time (pg 15)

1883

  • Proposal to build an abattoir out of the city is rejected for the 3rd time (pg 15)

1880’s

  • Prior to this period, any stock oversupply  weas used for canning or boiled down for tallow (Pg 4)
  • Refrigeration is introduced in some meat houses, resulted in oversupply becoming less of a problem (Pg 4)
  • Most animals were sold directly, the auction system was becoming increasingly popular that allowed greater competition (Pg 5)
  • New public slaughter house was built behind the Adelaide gaol. Location now is Bonython Park (pg 10)
  • A new cattle market site had been established called the Adelaide Corporation Yards (pg 10)
  • A sheep market already operated in the area near a hotel that still exists (2006) and is called ‘Newmarket’ (Pg 10)
    • Sheep flocks were regularly walked through the streets of what is now Adelaide city to the market destinations (Pg 10)

1884

  • Cattle market situated at Thebarton, near the Adelaide gaol was opened (Pg 41)
    • First beasts auctioned in 1886 (Pg 41)

1890’s

  • Severe droughts affected stock numbers and prices (Pg 4)
  • A small export slaughterhouse of 20 solo hooks is established at Dry Creek (Pg 53)
    • Is a German Export works operated by Leopold Conrad, a prominent Adelaide butcher (Pg 53)
    • Spring lambs were slaughtered at Dry Creek between August – November
    • Carcases transported to Freezers at Port Adelaide by speciality railway wagons.
  • A consignment of chilled meat from the Moreton meatworks in Brisbane is sent to Britain fails with 70% condemned on arrival (Pg 150)

1895

  • Government Produce Department  establish the Port Adelaide Freezing works to open up and develop overseas markets for SA perishable goods (Pg 53)
    • Located at Ocean Steamers’ Wharf (Pg 54)
    • Four freezing chambers (Pg 54)
  • Port of Adelaide ship its first export of frozen meat to Britain containing mostly lamb, pig and poultry (Pg 53)
  • Export of pigs occurs with 80 carcasses to Britain (Pg 191)

1898

  • Proposal to build an abattoir out of the city is rejected for the 4th time (pg 15)

1899

  • Public committee is taking evidence  to consider the establishment of a centrally located meatworks to slaughter cattle, sheep and pigs (Pg 15)
    • Various councils were asked for their support

1902

  • SA State government introduce a Bill to allow municipal authorities the power to borrow money to establish a public abattoir (Pg 16)
    • Initial site proposed was near the existing slaughter house at the Adelaide gaol
    • Bill was defeated as a suitable site could not be agreed upon

1904

  • Dry Creek slaughter house had no tally system and men were paid for treating 130 lambs a day on a ‘go as you please’ basis (Pg 54)
    • Between seasons overfat ewes were killed and boiled down there (Pg 54)

1906

  • 11 of the 15 councils consulted favor a proposal for a site north of Adelaide (Pg 16)
  • 1902 Parliamentary Bill to enable borrowings to build an abattoir are shelved due to alterations

1907

  • Dry Creeks facility is unable to cope with the number of stock due to the increase in exports (Pg 54)
    • Facility is closed (Pg 54)
  • Government Produce Department (Pg 54)
    • Builds a sheep meatworks at the Port Adelaide wharf (Pg 54)
      • Consists of a double slaughter board with 100 hooks
      • more chambers and a drying room
      • Cattle and sheep yards
      • Beef slaughterhouse
    • Enlarge the freezers at the Port Adelaide wharf.
  • Bill is passed with an amendment to compensate butchers who owned private slaughterhouses which would be forced to close once the new abattoirs (Gepps Cross)  became operational (Pg 16)
    • Compensation was £7,000 to each butcher owner (Pg 21)

1908

  •  Metropolition Abattoirs Act receives Governors assent 2nd December 1908 (pg 16)
  • The Metropolition Abattoirs Board (MAB) is also established(pg 16)
  • Estimated cost of the completed works is £353,000 (equivalent $50M at 2006)(pg 16)
  • Abattoirs site area is now Mawson Lakes, Pooraka (2006) was known as Dry Creek (pg 29)
  • Land area purchased for the site was 289 acres at Gepps Cross (Pg 17)
    • Additional land was purchased of 118 acres and 78 acres (Pg 17)
      • Total area of 480 acres(Pg 17)
    • Further land is acquired to extend the total area to 611 acres.
      • also accommodates crop growing areas (Pg 20)
    • Entire area at completion of abattoir, stock markets and paddocks is 626 acres (Pg 38)
      • Stock markets would occupy 18 acres (Pg 38)
  • Design of the entire facility, buildings, stockyards and surrounding buildings was  based on requirments of;(Pg 19)
    • Location outside of the city, with no indication it will be soon surrounded by buildings
    • Road access
    • Connection with a railway
    • Capable of underground drainage
    • Have sufficent water
    • Be of sufficent size to allow assured extensions in at least 30 years time
  • Entire public abattoirs scheme was elaborate, ambitious and impressive (Pg 36)
  • No expense was to be spared to make every department conform to highest level of hygiene.(Pg 36)
  • Livestock would be closely inspected with every precaution to prevent the sale of diseased meat (Pg 36)
  • Customers would be assured of guaranteed cleanliness and pure food product (Pg 36)

1909

  • Advertisements are placed for designs and workers who may be interested in employment (Pg 19)
    • 10 designs were received.
    • Charles A D’Ebro of Melbourne won the design contract for the abattoirs
      • Had designed a facility in Footscray, Victoria for Angliss and Co (Pg 19)
        • Also Brooklyn for Thomas Borthwick & Sons
        • Geelong for Portland Freezing works
        • Abattoirs for the city of Bendigo
        • Shire of Oakleigh, Western Australia.
    • MAB only accepted the abattoir plans and didn’t consider any of stock market designs to be suitable and designed their own.
  • Construction was planned to begin early 1910 (Pg 19)
    • Capacity to slaughter 500 cattle, 4,500 sheep and 280 pigs per day
    • Design enabled stock to be held in covered yards
    • 7 chilling halls
    • Adjacent saleyards would accomodate 3,000 cattle, 50,000 sheep and 2,000 pigs
  • Gepps Cross was to only process stock for consumption in the Adelaide Metroplitan area (Pg 56)
  • Meat for export was processed at GPD abattoir and freezing works at Port Adelaide (Pg 56)

1910

  • Government construct a butter factory, meat conserving and canning works at the Port Adelaide wharf (Pg 54)
    • Also establish a state owned butcher shop at Port Adelaide (Pg 54)
      • sells reject lambs not up to export standard (Pg 54)
        • this causes conflict with local butchers as the meat is sold at reduced prices (Pg 54)
  • Stock Market construction tender is accepted for Gepps Cross (Pg 20)
    • Cattle stock yards would enable 400 cattle to be sold through the sale ring per hour.
      • Sale ring capable to hold an audience of 200 people with individual animals paraded and then removed, Actual buyers remain seated
      • Building had provision for refreshments and a telephone room
  • Principal contract for construction of the abattoir went to Wadey & Co of Melbourne (Pg 20)
    • Used 11M bricks in construction (Pg 38)
  • Contract to build motor garages, workshops and 47 workers cottages – Colyer & Hill
  • Eyes and Crowie supplied motor lorries (Pg 20)
    • 7 tonne, 27 horsepower Commers (Pg 23)
    • Chain driven
    • Solid rubber tyres
    • 5 speed  preselect gearboxes (Pg 23)
      • top speed 12 miles per hour (Pg 23)
    • Holden’s built the timber bodies (Pg 23)
      • sawdust for insulation (Pg 23)
    • Follard Hill on the Main North road at Enfield had too steep a gradient for the trucks so the top was shaved off to enable their use (Pg 23)
    • 17 trucks in the original fleet (Pg 35)
  • Mechanical work was conducted by Newton, McLaren and Co (Pg 20)
  • Electrical work was done by Unbehaun and Johnstone (Pg 20)
  • Refrigeration machinery was supplied by Wildridge and Sinclair (Pg 20)
  • Provision was made near the abattoir for the Government farm to grow hay and cereal crops (Pg 20)
  • Engine room, floored with tiles contained 2 sets of refrigeration machinery (Pg 38)
    • independent steam condenser
    • water circulating pump
    • 2 electrical lighting sets
  • Steam for the works was suplied by 2 tar-filled wood-fired burners (Pg 145)
    • later converted to burn coal (Pg 145)
      • Delivered to the site by 40t railway wagons (Pg 146)
  • Chilling rooms were lined with pumice stones for insulation (Pg 38)
  • By Products house was designed on the most modern lines
    • had tanks, digesters, tallow vats, hydraulic presses, blood cookers, a drying plant, bagging and screening plants, platform scales and bone-crushing plant (Pg 38)
  • Boiling down works was built on an acre site one mile from the abattoirs at the Grand Junction road intersection with churchill road (Pg 38)
    • Now occupied by the current Dry creek power station (Pg 38)
  • Engineers workshop (Pg 38)
  • Blacksmiths (Pg 38)
  • Carpenters shop (Pg 38)
  • Coopers shop (Pg 38)
  • Tool shop (Pg 38)
  • Paint shop (Pg 38)
  • Tackle rooms (Pg 38)
  • Dray shed and stables (Pg 38)
    • that also housed the 17 delivery trucks (Pg 38)
  • Brick garage contained repair shop, washing down area, and accommodation for drivers (Pg 38)
    • Behind the Garage were fuel bowsers and tanks (Pg 38)
  • Administrative building that fronted the Main North Road (Pg 38)
    • provided necessary offices for various managers and staff (Pg 38)
    • Included laboratories, a dining room and first aid room (Pg 38)
  • 47 workers cottages (Pg 38)
    • maisonettes and built in rows in English workingman’s tradition (Pg 38)
    • Initially no electricity (Pg 63)
    • Each had 3 bedroom, with a generous sized kitchen (Pg 63)
    • High ceilings to aid cooling (Pg 63)
    • Water was heated by a wood-fired copper (Pg 63)
    • Each house had a shed and outside toilet (Pg 63)
    • People would purchase ice for ice-chests from a special ice-making freezer on the abattoir site (Pg 64)
  • Cottages were also built for receiver of stock and night watchman (Pg 38)
  • Larger residences for superintendent, veterinary surgeon, chief inspector, first assistant inspector, mechanical and electrical engineer (Pg 38)
  • Sheep market yards (Pg 38)
    • Shed , acted as a covered walkway, 896 feet (271m) long (Pg 38)
    • 496,864 Melbourne bluestone pitchers were used to pave the market areas(Pg 38)
    • 3,152 gates (Pg 38)
    • 8,595 timber and concrete posts (Pg 38)
  • Calculated total length of all stock paddocks and yards 21.5 miles. (34.4km) (Pg 38)

1911

  • February 21, Foundation stone was laid to commemorate the start of construction of the Gepps Cross abattoir and saleyard facilities (Pg 20)
  • Constuction for the abattoirs and sheep marketing area is underway (Pg 27)

1912

  • Water supply was a problem requiring 3 new bores (Pg 17)
    • quality was suitable for watering stock and washing down but not for boilers and domestic purposes
    • A steel main water pipe was laid from the Barossa Valley to supply the site (Pg 17)
  • Meeting was held to advise of charges the new Metropolitan Abattoirs at Gepps Cross would charge when operational (Pg 21)
    • Master Butchers support change that will mean all meat slaughtered will be delivered to butchers at their shops by MAB supplied lorries (Pg 21)
      • Experimentation of the new lorry system was conducted at James Eddy’s butcher shop at Main North Road (Pg 23)
        • Meat rails were installed at the shop to hang and slide the carcases directly from the delivery truck to the shop (Pg 23)
        • All butchers were urged to install rails, If they didn’t they wouldn’t receive meat(Pg 23)
        • To avoid unnecessary handling of the meat a cable wire was installed for some operated by a windlass and drum but some butchers feared the strength of their walls couldn’t handle the stress of where the drum was anchored (Pg 24)
        • Hyde Patent bar was invented by Unley butcher Charles Hyde
          • steel bar mounted on the wall that could be extended into the truck and folded flat when not needed.(Pg 24)
            • Trials held of the Hyde bar in 1913.(Pg 24)
    • Butchers were concerned that if the meat wasn’t delivered to all, then gradually market domination would occur of only the larger butchers who could afford the transport (Pg 21)
    • Many butchers had opposed the abattoir as they felt it was stripping them of their rights to; (Pg 21)
      • slaughter animals (Pg 21) and
      • delivery of meat from the abattoirs to the shops (Pg 21)
        • Previously meat had been delivered by horse and cart (Pg 24)
    • Butchers felt that government simply did not have the skills to handle livestock and the saleyard/abattoir processes required (Pg 23)
    • Butchers felt the entire layout of the Gepps Cross facility and yards was impractical(Pg 23)
      • In their view, absurd laying of the site for various markets
      • inadequate provision of by-product
      • Government lack practical men with knowledge and skills to handle day to day challenges of abattoir operations
      • some of the ideas for Gepps Cross were untried and yet to be proven methods of process.
    • Some butchers felt that more than one abattoir should be built, it was not the Gepps Cross proposal they opposed it was the fact that processing would be so concentrated to one location(Pg 23)
      • butchers wanted more than one abattoir at differing sites built(Pg 23)
  • Butchers were critical of how fresh green skins would be handled(Pg 27)
    • Skin shed 600 yards from the abattoir (Pg 27)
    • fear that buyers would not trek to the green skins site to buy the product and the skins would rot (Pg 27)
    • Butchers felt that any money lost due to damage of skins was borne by them (Pg 27)
  • Metropolitan Abatttoirs area for delivery to butchers was divided into 18 districts
    • Each area had a colour (Pg 25)
    • Each butcher had an identification number (Pg 25)
      • coloured numbered discs were used to identify the carcase that would be delivered to each butcher (Pg 25)
    • An order was placed by the butcher prior to animal slaughter at the Adelaide Post Office by 2.15pm the day prior to requirement of the carcase (Pg 25)
      • orders were telephoned to Gepps Cross (Pg 26)
        • 5 copies of the order made (Pg 26)
          • drover
          • foreman of the killing halls
          • foreman of the chilling rooms
          • office
          • superintendent
    • Trucks loaded in the middle of the night for early departure (Pg 25)
      • Prior to refrigeration the wooden interiors were sprayed with water, then a solution of formalin to help keep the meat cold (Pg 25)
    • meat would be delivered with disks and gumbrels (Meat hooks) (Pg 25)
      • the butchers responsibility to return the hooks and discs with his following delivery (Pg 25)

1913

  • First year of operation of the Gepps Cross Livestock markets
    • sell 826,186 animals
      • Major agents were:
        • Elder, Smith and Co
        • Goldsbrough Mort
        • Dalgety
        • Bennett & Fisher
    • Previous selling centres are closed (Pg 42)
      • Sheep saleyard North Parklands had been in operation since 1848 (Pg 42)
        • last sale held 09/07/1913 (Pg 42)
      • Cattle saleyard, Thebarton had been in operation since 1884 (Pg 41)
        • Last sale held 07/07/1913 (Pg 42)
  • Charles Hyde patent bar is tested for use – steel bar mounted on the walls of butchers shops and would extend into the trucks delivering meat to allow the carcase hooks to move from the truck to the shop with minimal handling (Pg 24)
    • the bar could be folded away when not in use (Pg 24)
  • Trial operations were conducted of the abattoir prior to formal opening to rectify any problems (Pg 27)
    • livestock were slaughtered (Pg 27)
  • Pig marketing area is undercover and near completion (Pg 27)
  • Areas east of the immediate meatworks were important hay crop production areas supplying numerous dairy farms and chaff works, Modbury, Ingle Farm and Gilles Plains, even Enfield (pg 33)
  • July 12. Official opening of the Gepps Cross meatworks occurs (pg 35)
  • Adelaide has a current population of 200,000 people (Pg 35)
  • Adelaide is the only Australian capital city where livestock slaughtering and processing was solely undertaken by a local government authority with offical health inspection gaurantee and scientific analysis (Pg 35)
  • As the Gepps Cross abattoir opens all city corporation slaughter houses and stock markets are closed (Pg 35)
    • 140 private slaugherhouses were located in the metropolitan area (Pg 35)
      • were known to be unhygienic and unsavoury (Pg 35)
        • 117 were in the Adelaide city area
        • 18 at Port Adelaide
        • 5 at Glenelg, Marion and Brighton districs
    • No butchers were allowed to kill privately(Pg 35)
  • Loophole allows some slaughthouses to remain open if they process pigs for bacon curing and not selling of fresh meat (Pg 191)
  • All meat supply now came under control of the Lord Mayor – MAB chairman (Pg 35)
  • Officals opening speech by Lord Mayor (later Sir) Walter Lavington “the public would look not only for efficent management, but due economy, so the price of meat would not be unduly raised to consumers”
  • July 14 Abattoirs commence killing livestock
    • workforce 220 men
      • had been conducting training prior to the abattoir opening (Pg 39)
      • Union rates 2s 3 1/2 d per head – yarding, dressing and everything else.
  • Some visitors praised the works others highly critical, felt the facility was a white elephant due to it’s cost (Pg 39)
  • First cattle market sale was held 14/07/1913 (Pg 46)
    • First bullock was sold for £50, with money donated to the Children’s Hospital (Pg 45)
    • First yarding was 1,289 head(Pg 46)
  • Works offices for Gepps Cross located in Eagle Chambers, adjacent to the Adelaide town hall (Pg 60)
    • Offices were moved to Gepps Cross in 1948 (Pg 60)
  • Auctioneers complained the new selling ring was too large (Pg 46)
    • high roof was difficult to project their voices if it was raining (Pg 46)
    • Sidney Kidman criticised the cattle yard design saying they were unsatisfactory and cost too much to build (Pg 46)
      • Angered Kidman that the MAB had not seek advice from stock agents on design and was critical of the bull ring being altered during its construction (Pg 46)
      • Bull ring was 5 times too large (Pg 46)
        • nearly all gates swung the wrong way (Pg 46)
        • More difficult to work 1,000 head in the present yards compared to the old yards (Pg 46)
      • Pig selling pens were too far from the railway offloading (Pg 48)
        • fat pigs are very difficult to move around (Pg 48)
      • Costs of yard fees were very high (Pg 48)
        • Gepps Cross charging 3 times more than Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane (Pg 48)
        • Kidman threatened to have all his cattle stock sent to QLD (Pg 48)
          • Killing fees in QLD 5-6s (Pg 48)
          • rail costs would be reduced 25% (Pg 48)
          • price of cattle increases £2-3 a head to consumer and butcher if selling at Gepps Cross (Pg 48)
        • Kidman sent the bulk of his cattle to Adelaide but without improvements to the yards it was easier and cheaper to send them to QLD (Pg 48)
  • One leading butcher says willing would have paid £1,000 per year to not be part of the Gepps Cross MAB and slaughter his own stock (Pg 49)
    • fear was that the small butchers would be driven out of business due to charges (Pg 49)
    • scandal at the time surrounded the topic (Pg 49)
    • MAB admitted to consultation with stock agents for the sheep yards and on inspection of the yard plans made alterations (Pg 49)
      • original plans had no means to move stock from the ramps to other parts of the market areas (Pg 49)
      • lack of medium yards at the drafting races (Pg 49)
      • MAB had never sighted plans for pig or cattle markets before construction (Pg 49)
    • Royal Commission was announced to inquire into the Metropolitan abattoirs. (Pg 49)
  • First hide and skin sale was held 15/07/1913 (Pg 46)
  • First sheep sale was held 16/07/1913 (Pg 46)
    • 13,805 sheep plus 2,225 lambs (Pg 46)
    • No stock were to be accepted if marked with tar, only paint or raddle (chalk) was acceptable (Pg 46)
  • Calves and pigs were sold the same day as sheep (Pg 46)
    • 230 calves (Pg 46)
    • 450 pigs (Pg 46)
      • pig sales continued to be sold the same day as sheep the entire lifetime of the Gepps Cross yards (Pg 46)
  • Workers were paid on a tally system (Pg 93)
    • Earliest tallies were fixed at 25 cattle a day
  • Union strength is very strong in Australia at the time with the influences of American teamsters coming to Australia to organise better conditions for workers in the meat industry (Pg 94)
    • Known as International Workers of the World
    • Assisted Australian workers to set up ‘boards of control’ and ‘shop committees’
      • provided vehicle of radical action, perfecting job strategies such as sabotage and go-slow tactics
    • Abattoirs became well organised, militantly, with agreements with employers for union offices to be sole suppliers of labour
    • Permit system existed that required members to have union authoristion to work
    • Shop committee’s not only supervised the selection of labour they also played a significant role in day to day operations of the plant
  • November 20. Royal Commission begins to take evidence and report on the management, working and control of the abattoir (Pg 50)
    • Considered high prices of livestock and slaughtering costs charged (Pg 50)
      • effect of flow on prices to retailers (Pg 50)
      • investigated sale of meat outside the systems designated territory (Pg 50)
      • bad handling of stock (Pg 50)
      • closure of butcher shops after the opening of the abattoir (Pg 50)
    • Rise in livestock prices could have been attributed to current drought (Pg 50)
      • caused 50% increase in stock values (Pg 50)
      • Butchers blamed increase in costs on Gepps Cross facility when in fact was market value of livestock (Pg 50)
      • Inevitable some values would increase as butchers no longer slaughtered their own stock and carcases were being processed under more hygienic conditions, including meat was transported to them (Pg 50)

1914

  • A school known as Abattoirs school is established for employee’s children to attend of Gepps Cross (Pg 31)
    • Later changed its name to Pooraka School in 1940 (Pg 31)
  • New Royal Commission looks at the operations of any person, combination or trust tending to create any restraint on trade or monopoly in connection with the export of meat from Australia (Pg 51)
  • Introduction of US based meat firms were coming into the Australian market (Pg 50)
  • US had removed import duties on meat which resulted in the US purchasing larger volumes of Australian product (Pg 51)
  • Foreign companies were (Pg 51)
    • Swift Beef Company – registered in QLD
    • Morris Beef Company of London (Pg 51)
      • Purchased a site at the Brisbane river with a view to establish a meatworks in partnership with Borthwicks and Angliss (Pg 51)
    • Chicago meat packers firm – Armour & Co (Pg 51)
      • this company had purchased 5,000 head of cattle from Sydney Kidman to be processed at Adelaide and exported by the Government produce department of South Australia (Pg 51)
  • Royal Commission ruled it was improbable the the 3 foreign companies had intention of engaging in local trade in Australia, their immediate objective to purchase Australian produce in increase supplies in their own refrigerated holdings within the US & Britain (Pg 51)
    • ruled there was no evidence in the shape of any concerted action (Pg 51)

1921

  • 47 workers cottages that were installed in 1913 were connected to power (Pg 63)
  • Police Constable was stationed at Gepps Cross (Pg 64)

1923

  • November 26. Wage rise was applied for by ‘motormen’ employed by MAB, increase was refused (Pg 95)
    • Entire workforce went on strike for 3 weeks.

1924

  • 17 tonne compressor that supplied refrigeration with a fly wheel diametre of 6m is installed (Pg 142)
    • Flywheel alone weighed 15t
    • Used up until 1984

1926

  • Gepps Cross manager went on an overseas trip to investigate worldwide technological advances in meat processing and handling
    • visited New Zealand, United States and Europe
    • In the US he visits Chicago stockyards and the Swift meatworks
      • Seen the use of the string gang system (Pg 56)
      • While efficent the Gepps Cross abattoir wasn’t suited to process due to the need to keep 200 butchers supplies seperate (Pg 56)
  • Outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Europe makes local pig producers consider advantages to increased production techniques (Pg 192)
    • SA pig producers are able to take advantage of Britain’s imposed embargo of imports of fresh pork from all countries in continental Europe

1928

  • Butchers from Port Adelaide petition the Adelaide city council to  amend the Metropolitan Abattoir Act to allow them to have their stock killed at Port Adelaide slaughterhouse (Pg 57)
    • Was not allowed as the Port Adelaide facility only treated stock for export (Pg 57)
    • Was deemed unfair to take business away from Gepps Cross and the Port Adelaide facility didn’t have a delivery system (Pg 57)

1930

  • Pig market numbers at Gepps Cross 60,000 head (Pg 192)
  • Transport Control Board (TCB) introduce legislation to restrict freight of livestock by road (Pg 223)
    • Livestock road carriers could be fined for transporting livestock along corridors on which government owned railway could be used
    • Government feared the railways would loose too much money, making the massive rail infrastructure non-viable.
    • Restriction remained in place for the next 38 years
    • Charges and taxes too road transporters were increased to cover railway losses
    • Railway use charges increased
      • Remote locations such as Alice Springs complained during drought it was cheaper to walk the animals to Adelaide
  • Transport of livestock by road was becoming more common (Pg 223)
    • Crates were crude and caused significant bruising to animals
      • Many instances of livestock were being reported with increased truck use
    • Stock losses increased due to ease of moving animals quickly and without drawing attention
  • Stock Waybills Act came into effect requiring carriers to carry a manifest listing the owner, number of stock transported, destination and consignee.

1932

  • The Great Depression has begun to be felt through the entire community and severely disrupts the fledgling export markets (Pg 76)
  • The Depression affects the entire meat industry.(Pg 76)
    • Freezing works supported by the government cut the wages rates and men go on strike (Pg 76)
      • meatworks became idle (Pg 76)
    • Many butchers forced to live between seasons on the government handouts (Pg 77)
  • Severe Wharf strike at Port Adelaide with police stationed day and night at the wharf gates (Pg 76)
    • No export lambs could be loaded onto ships at this time
    • Considerable conflict existed between slaughtermem, employees and others (Pg 77)
  • Meat Industry award wages structures had been according to individual states before this time. In 1932 retail butchers, small goods factories moved from state award to federal award with the entire meat industry. (Pg 95)

1933

  • State Inquiry into the transportation, slaughter, distribution and shipment of livestock in South Australia (Pg 57)
    • Committee recommended that control of all slaughtering and freezing of livestock for export and local consumption be vested to a new board – Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Board ( MEAB) (Pg 57)
      • MEAB was to take over powers of
        • Gepps Cross and Port Adelaide (Pg 57)
        • Glenelg and Marion Abattoirs (Pg 57)
          •  who had not been under the MAB previously and had been established due to an alliance formed between some butchers in those areas.(Pg 57)
          • Glenelg abattoir was located on what is now the Glenelg golf course (Pg 60)
          • Glenelg and Marion facilities demolished 1939 (Pg 60)
  • December 7. MEAB was passed and assented in parliament (Pg 57)
    • All livestock for both local and export were now to be treated at Gepps Cross (Pg 57)

1934

  • April 12. MEAB commence operations (Pg 57)
  • November. Contract to reconstruct the Gepps Cross slaughtering units, provision of freezers and coldstores was created (Pg 57)
    • New chain slaughtering system would be installed (Pg 59)
      • previous operations meant slaughtermen treated an entire animal singularly (Pg 59)
      • Moving chain was a dissassembly line where men performed specific repetitive tasks (Pg 59)
      • Necessary additions were completed by 1937 (Pg 59)
  • At this time the Port Adelaide facilities at its zenith(Pg 57)
    • Separate beef and calf slaughter-houses (Pg 57)
    • mutton and lamb boards (Pg 57)
    • Pig hall located on the bottom floor (Pg 57)
  • Pig market numbers at Gepps Cross 104,000 head (Pg 192)
  • Due to advent of motorised transport unloading ramps are built at the Gepps Cross Sheep market (Pg 202)

1936

  • Port Adelaide meatworks closes (Pg 59)
    • Demolished 1939 (Pg 60)

1937

  • Gepps Cross abattoir new chain system is installed (Pg 59)
  • Men who had been employed at Port Adelaide were transferred to Gepps Cross (Pg 59)
  • All workers undertook training at the William Angliss works in Melbourne (Pg 59)
    • Once acquainted with the system 200 slaughtermen operated 4 chains (Pg 60)
      • Processed 14,000 to 16,000 lambs a day (Pg 60)
  • Railway spur line was built to unload export sheep and lambs within the Gepps Cross abattoir (Pg 59)
    • Included unloading ramps and construction of covered yards capable of holding 8,000 head (Pg 59)
  • MEAB meat delivery trucks are replaced by AEC Metador trucks (Pg 142)
    • originals had been wooden bodied Commer trucks
    • 34 trucks serviced 872 butchers daily
    • Average days delivery 200t of meat
    • Truck bodies were metal and had no refrigeration
  • All pig export slaughtering is transferred from Port Adelaide to Gepps Cross (Pg 192)
    • Gepps Cross pig slaughter hall and yards are expanded
    • Yards can accomodate pig sales 4,000 head per week
  • Transport Control Board introduce further measures to restrict road transport of livestock within a 50 mile radius of the Gepps Cross abattoir (Pg 224)
    • Protected the railways from undue and unfair competition
    • Congestion, inconvenience and frustration were compounded by inefficient and too few loading ramps and holding yards.

1939

  • Total livestock now yarded and sold at Gepps Cross is 71% higher than in 1918 (Pg 5)
  • Port Adelaide works was demolished  (Pg 60)
  • Glenelg and Marion abattoirs were also demolished at the same time (Pg 60)
  • September 1. World War I is declared (Pg 79)
  • As part of the war effort (Pg 79)
    • householders were forced to billet troops in their homes (Pg 79)
      • included providing them with food at the household expense (Pg 79)
      • created a heavy retail demand for meat (Pg 79
  • Beef prices were high due to transport shortages due to restriction of number of railway livestock vans allocated to transport stock to market (Pg 79)
  • Pigs slaughtered 2,882 head
  • Highest number of train miles is recorded by the South Australian Railways (Pg 225)
    • net loss of £2,723,493
    • massive infrastructure had to be maintained in a workable condition at any cost for operation
    • Huge increase in road use had significantly increased revenues collected but was not enough to compensate for rail losses.

1940

  • Abattoir school changes its name to Pooraka School (Pg 31)
  • Early days of WW II are in effect (Pg 77)
  • Gepps Cross pig slaughter hall is extended (Pg 76)
  • Australian Meat Board request that new freezers be constructed to to hold 6 weeks of killing supplies instead of the usual 3 (Pg 77)
  • Proposal is put forward to decentralise Gepps Cross and establish smaller works at Kadina and Wallaroo  to cope with the lamb season periods (Pg 77)
    • Would have allowed free up rail and road transport to better serve the war effort (Pg 77)
    • was a considerable lack of labour at the time (Pg 77)
    • idea never eventuated (Pg 77)
  • Pigs slaughtered 47,209 head
  • Ravages of war and petrol rationing caused setback to development of road transport (Pg 225)

1941

  • Gepps Cross erect and equip a cannery for treating mutton (Pg 77)
    • To be fully operational would require 10,000 to 12,000 sheep a month (Pg 77)
    • Price charged for slaughter was 5 pence per pound of canned weight of meat (Pg 77)
    • plant employed cheaper junior labour (Pg 77)
    • Abattoirs didn’t market the meat, producer had to do that and supply their own labels for the cans (Pg 77)

1942

  • Livestock wardens were appointed under the Civil Defence Force.(Pg 77)
    • Authorities could take charge of all livestock and move them if required for safety in the event of an air raid or state of emergency (Pg 77)
    • if an air raid occured the wardens were to record number of deaths and kill injured stock (Pg 77)
  • South Australian Railways take control of of all allocations of railway vans for the movement of lambs to market (Pg 81)
    • At the time movement of stock, particularly in peak periods of lambing were disrupted due to military priorities and producers weren’t guaranteed stock trains would arrive in time for markets (Pg 81)
    • To assist with effective movement of stock 2 sales per week of lambs per week during the peak season will be held (Pg 82)
    • Producers in designated areas could only send their lambs to market during at certain times (Pg 226)
    • Stock unloaded in black out conditions at night (Pg 226)
    • Northern Livestock producers were significantly disadvantaged as the lines importance north was for preference for military use. (Pg 226)
      • Producers advocated for double decker cattle wagons but it wasn’t allowed
  • Losses and theft during the war years is a problem (Pg 81)
    • Railway yardmaster carried a .45 calibre pistol to destroy injured stock (Pg 226)
    • Pigs left standing in sidings for too long  often died in large numbers due to heat (Pg 226)
  • Gas producers had been fitted to many vehicles to conserve fuel, but Control boards had banned use of some vehicles to conserve tyre rubber (Pg 81)
  • March 25. Meat is gazetted a ‘declared commodity’ in the metropolitan area of Adelaide (Pg 79)
    • Retail and wholesale selling prices of meat are fixed as at the week prior – 18/03/1942 (Pg 79)
    • retail butcher was not allowed to earn a bigger profit markgn that what he earned 30/08/1939
      • It was an offence to sell meat at prices exceeding those charged on that date
      • Beef per pound 5 1/2 pence
      • Mutton per pound 4 3/4 pence
      • Lamb per pound 8 pence
      • Veal per pound 7 pence
  • Metropolitan fixing of meat prices didn’t affect country buyers or those from Melbourne (Pg 80)

1943

  • January 1. Meat rationing commences (Pg 84)
    • Meat held in Freezers wasn’t released back into the metropolitian market for fear of market collapse of prices to producers (Pg 84)
    • Meat rationed to adult is now 2.5 pounds per week
    • Children under 9 were allowed only 1.25 pounds
    • Meat rationing was a complicated process with 6 classes of meat
    • People were issued coupons to surrender to a butcher
      • Sausages, edible offals, canned meats and pigs’ feat were not affected by the restriction and were encouraged to be used (Pg 84)
  • Mutton style sleeves on woman’s dress clothing was also banned to preserve fabric (Pg 84)
  • During war period workers are required to train emergency drills which included wearing gas marks and protective clothing while processing carcases (Pg 76)
  • Prices rise at Gepps Cross markets for prime stock (Pg 77)
    • Area is currently affected by drought (Pg 77)
  • War period  seen government consider implementation of meat control prices at retail level (Pg 78)
    • Curtin Federal Government ‘War strategy’ meant certain foods would be rationed (Pg 84)
      • Civilian consumption of meat was to reduced by 15% (pg 83)
    • Many believed rationing of meat would be preferrable (Pg 78)
      • rationing would save transport
      • preserve meat supplies
      • reduce corruption and
      • keep inflation in check
  • February 1. Sale of third quality pig meat is restricted (Pg 80)
    • Sale of fresh pork is already prohibited (Pg 80)
  • To stabilise the industry the Australian Meat Industry Commission took responsibility for all surplus pig meat (Pg 80)
    • Producers could continue to sell pigs at auction but prices were fixed (Pg 80)
  • July 28. Commissioner of meat supplies passes a motion that compulsorily acquires one forequarter of each body of beef processed at Gepps Cross that weighs more 400 pounds or more (Pg 81)
    • Compulsorily acquired meat is to be used for canning to supply Britain
    • After several months bull beef is included in the restrictions
    • Veal weighing 251 pounds and over is now classed as beef
    • Producers are urged to market stock in a normal way to allow stock to be available for the services and canning
  • September 15. Further food restrictions and rationing came into effect (Pg 84)
    • Wholesalers and retail butchers were to provide, under statutory declaration amounts of sales for the previous 4 weeks prior to 01/06/1943 (Pg 84)
      • % reduction was based on those figures (Pg 84)
      • onus placed on the butcher to achieve objective of reduced meat use (Pg 84)
      • quotas were based on the Throughput at Gepps Cross and changed weekly (Pg 86)
      • 75% of meat by the butchers to be taken as fresh and 25% frozen (Pg 86)
      • South Australia seemed to be singled out as similar practices were not enforced in any other state (Pg 86)
        • Destroyed confidence in South Australian markets.(Pg 86)
          • Sense of normality to SA markets would not return until the 1950’s (Pg 86)
  • Bacon factories were working at full capacity to process canned goods for the fighting forces and Britain had acute food shortages (Pg 84)
  • To meet supply of the military civilian beef consumption was cut 40% (Pg84)
    • To counter harsh reduction in beef allowed a 12.5% increase in lamb
  • October 11. Fixed number of sheep and lambs allowed for sale at Gepps Cross is 23,000 head (pg 83)
    • All stock to only arrive by rail
    • No private deliveries were allowed or would be unloaded
    • Stock above the number would not be accepted for sale
  • November. Restrictions are placed on delivery of stock from some areas to limit supply as the facilities couldn’t process the animals due to a severe manpower shortage and lack of skilled slaughtermen (Pg 81)
    • many workers had enlisted or joined others to work in munitions factories at Salisbury and Finsbury
  • Only 60 men were operating a chain with a capacity of 71 men (Pg 83)
  • Less stock was being processed and 20,000 sheep had to be railed to Victoria for slaughter (Pg 81)

1944

  • Livestock numbers yarded and sold double the 1913 figures (Pg 5)
  • May 16. Workers strike is called concerning the reinstatement of a watchman sentenced to gaol for use of an office at the abattoir for unlawful gaming (Pg 96)
    • AMIEU wanted watchman re-employed and MAB refused
    • All workers went on strike immediately even refusing to process poddy calves
      • RSPCA approached striking workers to honour undertaking in regards to suffering of the calves, workers refused to co-operate (Pg 96)
  • December 13. compulsory acquisition was extended to all South Australian country meatworks (pg 81)
  • Experiments are conducted in America to produce artificial meat from molasses, ammonia, water, air and yeast (Pg 81)
    • Meat was to be fed to the troops

1945

  • February 26. Australia is experiencing a severe drought and rationing of meat is further reduced (Pg 85)
    • rationing reduced by 8.75%
  • May 7 further rationing cuts of 12% (Pg 85)
  • Country Butchers, previously unrestricted by quotas are also regulated (Pg 86)
  • Restrictions of meat remained in place following the war with limits not removed until 24/06/1948 (Pg 85)
  • May 9. VE (Victory in Europe) Day (Pg 85)
    • War still continues against Japan in the Pacific
  • Price fixing is put in place by the Government to place a ceiling on extremely high stock values at the time due to war and drought (Pg 85)
    • Placement of a ceiling price caused considerable debate
  • Germany’s invasion of Denmark has destroyed Denmark’s pig industry. (Pg 192)
    • Britain’s key supplier of pig imports now becomes Australia
    • Britain didn’t favor America’s over-fat pigs
  • Stockowners’ Association lobby TBC to relax restrictions of transport of lambs by road (Pg 228)

1946

  • October 1. Fixed floor pricing comes in to effect (Pg 86)
    • Stock at Gepps cross are already commandeered (Pg 86)
    • A great deal  of uncertainty surrounded the Gepps Cross markets (Pg 86)
  • By products plant is proposed for construction at the works (Pg 138)
    • Delay in construction occurred due to serious material and labour shortages

1947

  • By Products plant construction is begun (Pg 138)
    • Not completed until 1951
      • Wet rendering system that used moisture as pressurised steam to process the materials during the cooking process
    • Replaced in 1974 when modern ‘continuous -render system is installed
      • Dry rendering system where product is cooked in its own fats in an agitator

1948

  • Works offices are relocated from in the city centre to Gepps Cross (Pg 60)
  • The United States of America reduce import duties on beef and veal by 50% (Pg 151)
    • Export licences of meat were not required at the time to the USA (Pg 151)
    • USA became and attractive export market due to Australia’s advantage of being disease free from diseases found in other countries (Pg 151)
  • MEAB were keen to supply USA with boneless beef (Pg 151)
    • Gepps Cross worked double shifts daily and at weekends to meet demand
    • Gepps Cross facility wasn’t able to cope and had little experience in freezing meat and the handling of frozen packed cartons (Pg 151)
    • One of the first consignments of meat to USA was rejected due to thawing and misshapen bloody boxes (Pg 151)
      • Entire consignment was rumoured to have been dumped into the ocean (Pg 151)
  • USA from this point required a licence of Australian export facilities who wished to export meat (Pg 152)
    • USA rules were so stringent led to improvements in all facets of inspection, safety and hygiene practices in Australian facilities.
  • Australian Meat Board experiment with expanding the road transport industry to carry cattle over longer distances (Pg 229)
    • 3 Trial loads carry a total of 239 head 500 miles from Anthony’s Lagoon to Alice.
      • The livestock were loaded on trains in Alice to Gepps Cross
      • Meat condition after slaughter was assessed to determine journey’s effect
  • June 24. Meat restrictions are lifted entirely (Pg 85)

1950’s

  • Gepps Cross was a ‘closed shop’. The AMIEU supplied labour for the abattoirs and management was obliged to source additional labour using AMIEU (Pg 107)
    • AMIEU was male dominated with a small number of women registered on it’s books employed making smallgoods and labour tasks in sausage casing factories (Pg 107)
  • Gepps Cross is processing 90% of all of SA’s livestock (Pg 245)

1951

  • After WWII there was a severe manpower shortage (Pg 96)
    • MEAB used overseas labour in the form of new immigrants or displaced persons from war-torn Europe.
  • November 14. AMIEU disapproved of use of foreign labour and called a strike.
    • Was the middle of lambing season
    • Abattoirs dismissed 540 employees
    • Workers went back to work 3 weeks later with same conditions at time of dismissal
  • Industrial disputes frequently occurred at Gepps Cross (Pg 96)
    • Northern cattle people had to muster and send stock sometimes long periods before slaughter and delays in slaughter caused stock to loose condition while awaiting processing
  • Between period 1950 – 1955 there were 42 industrial disputes at Gepps Cross works (Pg 96)

1954

  • March 29. South Australian government take court action to prevent a private company slaughtering stock intended for export  claiming “such killings are prohibited by the Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Act” (Pg 87)
    •  Noarlunga abattoir (SA) operated by  Noarlunga Meat Ltd had slaughtered 150 lambs to export to Britain (Pg 86)
    • Noarlunga Meat were charged, argued that the Act was in conflict with Commonwealth law and therefore invalid
      • Supreme court gave an opinion on point of law in 1955
      • MEAB were more concerned about lose of future export business

1955

  • August. MEAB v’s Noarlunga Meat – Supreme court hearing, text case (Pg 87)
  • August to September a major industrial dispute last 8 weeks, occurs during the court hearing of the test case (Pg 87)
    • During the dispute Noarlunga helped to supply Adelaide with Fresh meat
  • MEAB advertised for labour directly in newspapers rather than use the union (Pg 96)
    • AMIEU imposed a embargo on the use of extra labour during the lamb-killing season
    • 5 applicants had applied and received work
    • Men walked off the job leaving carcasses partly or wholly dressed
      • Caused serious losses to the facility
    • After several days the stoppage caused a shortage of meat in Adelaide
    • Volunteer master butchers went to Gepps Cross to slaughter stock
    • Carcasses were brought in from outside of the Abattoirs Board area
    • Noarlunga Abattoir (SA) double it’s shifts and treble output to cope with Adelaide metropolitan area demands
    • Strike caused a rift between butcher shop employees and AMIEU.
  • Producers were desperate to sell stock but unable to so they advertised in the local newspaper an alteration to normal cattle sales (Pg 98)
    • Cattle sales would now take place in the pens and not the auction ring as conducted previously (Pg 98)
    • During the July / August strike only 1,200 lambs had been slaughtered, compared to 84,635 the same period the previous year (Pg 98)
  • Meat became so scarce in Adelaide that a group of butchers banded together to slaughter 60 sheep in an old implement shed at Port Adelaide and deliver the un-inspected meat to their shops (Pg 98)
    • The stock were slaughtered and hung overnight
    • Rafters couldn’t bear the weight of the meat and had collapsed by the next morning
    • Meat was still sold in the shops
  • After 4 weeks MEAB advertised for workers again
    • the stoppage was seriously affecting union workers
  • After 6 weeks consideration was given to charge the striking workers (Pg 99)
  • Workers returned to work after 44 days (Pg 99)
  • Frequent industrial disputes highlighted the vulnerability of the Gepps Cross works to supply fresh meat during a crisis (Pg 86)
    • Re-organisation of the Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Act was called for
    • Country meatworks were to be able to freely supply Adelaide with fresh meat
    • Premier, Mr Playford was prepared to support as long at the abattoirs were no closer than 80 miles to each other for economic reasons (Pg 87)
  • December 17. High court rule that a section of the MEAA is inoperative and invalid because it is inconsistent with the Commonwealth Commerce Act (Meat Export) (Pg 88).1
    • Means South Australian Act no longer has sole authority for slaughtering for export
    • 02/03/1956 High court in Melbourne ruled that South Australia could not challenge the validiy of the commonwealth regulations
    • 04/07/1956 Privy court in London ruled South Australia’s claim was invalid

1956

  • New boiler is erected (pg 146)
    • Later converted to use fuel oil and natural gas
    • Steam plant was replaced by electric motors generated by diesel driven generators.
  • March 2.High court in Melbourne ruled that South Australia could not challenge the validiy of the commonwealth regulations in regards to being sole authority of meat export in that state (Pg 88).1
  • July 4. Privy court in London ruled South Australia’s claim was invalid to be sole authority of slaughter of stock for meat export in that state (Pg 88).1
  • Noarlunga immediately sought and began to build substantial export market to the United sates of vacuum- frozen lamb cuts (Pg 88).1
    • began expansion of it’s works to cope with increased throughput (Pg 88).1
  • Noarlunga Meat’s victory in the courts effectively spelt the end of the monopoly held by Gepps Cross works and saw a number of other abattoirs begin operation with a view to export meat (Pg 89).1

1957

  • October. Largest sheep market is held. (Pg 200)
    • 02/10/1957 37,604 sheep and 43,400 lambs
    • large supply of spring lambs due to dry conditions saw yarding’s exceed 80,000 head for many weeks

1958

  • March. Smallest sheep market was helf of 84 head (Pg 201)
    • Live sheep export dispute caused all livestock sales to be cancelled indefinitely

1959

  • Managing director of Noarlunga Meat Ltd, Reg Hinton, formed the Derwent Meat Company Pty Ltd, a wholesale meat company in Tasmania (Pg 88).1
    • Reg Hinton had moved away from South Australia because of the the control of the SA government exerted on the meat trade by means of the Abattoir Act.
  • Over supply of sheep and lambs enable Gepps Cross to slaughter 102,374 animals in one week (Pg 117)
    • Claimed as a world record
  • USA import licence requirements for import of meat led to significant deficit of income production £125,740 (Pg 152)
    • Previous year had seen a profit of £59,498 (Pg 152)
    • Significant improvements had been made in lairage pens being numbered and lighting improved
    • Edible and inedible material sections were to be seperated by walls, stainless steel surfaces had to installed
    • Increased inspection points and sterilisation areas were established
    • Temperature in the boning room area had to be maintained below 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • New saleyards are built at Gepps cross to sell cattle suspected of have the disease pleuro pneumonia (Pg 173)
    • Pleuro was a serious infectious disease of livestock introduced in 1858.
      • In the first 15 years of the disease spreading it killed 1.25M head of cattle
      • Meat from infected cattle was not dangerous to human consumption
      • Cost £79,000 to build, Joint enterprise between NT Administration and the Commonwealth
      • Later the yards became known as the Southern yards.
    • 5 years planning had led to the yards being built.
    • Aim of the yards was to allow unrestricted markets for cattle from a wide area of the NT and SA North West pastoral areas.

1960’s

  • Incident occurs at the boiling works due to a mal-function of a shut off value causin 3 tonnes of rams’ heads, dead sheep and bullocks to cook for too long and at too high a pressure (Pg 140)
    • Vat exploded and blew the roof off spewing the contents 20m into the air and all over the yards
    • Operators describe at the time rams’s head raining down like mallee roots
  • During this period the Gepps Cross facility had a wrokforce of 2,000 people (Pg 144)
  • Laundry department employed 11 workers
    • 2 machines of 200 pounds capacity and a single machine of 50 pounds worked continuously
      • Washed 20,000 pounds of clothing weekly
    • Laundry workers pressed, folded and put the clothing in required boxes
  • Bovine Pleuro-pneumonia eradication campaign is begun and eliminates the disease in 6 years (Pg 207)

1961

  • Selling method moves from ‘open selling’ in the Bull pen to ‘pen selling’ (Pg 176)
    • Where previously buyers were seated and cattle paraded in the ring at sale now buyers walked from auction pen to pen
    • Ring selling system required 22 men and average selling rate of 230 head per hour
    • Pen selling required 6 men and 400 head were sold per hour.
    • Animal welfare improved with the animals moved through less yards to be sold.
  • Kangaroo Island supplies a large number of sheep sold to Gepps Cross through this period (Pg 231)
    • Sheep are loaded at Kingscote and sailed by coastal freighters to Port Adelaide then walked to Gepps Cross

1962

  • February. Legislative changes to the award structure were extended and an interim federal award for all meatworkers was introduced (Pg 99)
    • AMIEU strongly opposed
    • Arbitration court was granted powers to fine unions and fine or jail union officals under the Court of Pains and Penalties

1963

  • Humane Killing Act is introduced into Australia (Pg 127)
  • L- shaped pneumatic stunner is introduced to the Beef Hall (Pg 126)
    • Powered by Air pressure
    • Completely immobilises the animal but doesn’t kill it
  • Captive bolt stunner uses a bolt with a circular end (Pg126)
    • fired into the animals head using a blank cartridge of compressed air
      • Destroys the animals brain.
  • By products facility is added to Gepps Cross generating an additional £551,000 through export and income (Pg 133)

1964

  • May. Meat inspection service was transferred from state to Commonwealth control to comply with export standards requirements of overseas requirements (Pg 154)

1965

  • String gang (Initial basic process of Canpak) method of slaughter is introduced to Gepps Cross for the Beef Hall (Pg 125)
    • labour required to process cattle using this system could be cut by 50%
  • Canpak method of slaughter for the Beef Hall is introduced (Pg 125)
    • ‘dressing on the rail’ at this time was semi-automated with most tasks preformed by the slaughtermen except the hide stripping was preformed mechanically (Pg 125)
    • Fully automated ‘dis-assembly’ line wasn’t used at Gepps Cross until SAMCOR built an entirely new integrated Southern works in the mid 1970’s
  • New marketing opportunity for pigs is introduced (Pg 193)
    • Carcass-basis auction system.
      • Producers could consign stock to slaughter at Gepps Cross and then the carcass would be put up for auction

1966

  • February 14. Decimal currency is introduced of dollars and cents, previous sales were of pounds and shillings (Pg 177)

1967

  • Gepps Cross facility diversifies and processes tuna (Pg 60)
    • Refrigerated tanks, areas for gilling, gutting and washing facilities were installed (Pg 60)
    • Fish delivered came from  Port Lincoln (Pg 60)
    • Processed 2,000 tonnes of fish a year (Pg 60)
    • Initially supplied interestate canneries (Pg 60)
      • soon after establishment exported to Japan and the US (Pg 60)
  • For many years at this point Gepps Cross cold stores were the largest in the country
    • Occassionally used to store other products (Pg 60)
      • seed potatoes, egg pulp, polyester resin, apples, dried fruit and cheeses (Pg 60)
      • One year over ripe apricots fermented and had to be cleaned up using emergency equipment (Pg 60)
    • Cold stores were used exclusively for meat from the 1970’s (Pg 60)

1968

  • Transport Control Board lifts restriction of livestock transport along road corridors that otherwise could have been carried by government owned railways. (Pg 223)
    • Control had been introduced 1930

1969

  • Unions Australia wide opposition to the Menzies Government Court of Pains and Penalties led to widespread national strike actions (Pg 99)
  • One entire cattle train of 120 vans is booked by a single owner to send 1,000 cattle to be sold.(Pg 183)

1970

  • Last of the workers cottages are demolished (Pg 64)
  • Gepps Cross Works are at their peak during this period (Pg 115)
    • Wages are high
    • Number of animals being processed are high
    • General prosperity in the community
  • Chain setting is an important slaughter process operation conducted in the beef, mutton and pig killing halls (Pg 115)
    • Slaughtermen would take their position on the chain according to the prior days organisation by the chain-setter (Pg 115)
      • The number of chains required to operate would be determined
      • Manpower required would be calculated
      • Men’s work tasks were organised depending on their seniority, ability and fitness
    • Prior to work beginning the slaughter and processing area was made hygienically acceptable and ready for the days work (Pg 115)
      • Entire floor area was washed
      • garbage bags and carcass legging paper supplies were topped up
      • Soap containers and absorbent paper towel dispensers were filled.
      • Knife and meat hook sterilisers heated
      • Branding ink and pads checked
      • Clean waterproof aprons and leggings for each slaughterman were made available
        • Each worker started each day in fresh laundered white clothes including berets
    • Penning teams started 15 minutes prior to slaughtermen (Pg 115)
    • Process of operation in the Mutton Hall was as follows (Pg 118)
      • Scruffer – would force sheep into a sitting position then pass it to the sticker
      • Sticker  – would cut the sheep’s throat ensuring severance of main artery and windpipe. Then he broke the sheep’s neck.
      • Shackler – would shackle the offside hind leg and hitch it to eh the running bar of the start of the chain.
      • Feeder – ensures correct spacing of the sheep and lambs
      • Slaughtermen stood on moving platforms keeping pace with the chain
      • Sheepskin was cut from nearest hind leg from hock to tail
      • Change-over man – hoisted the skinned leg onto a hook, released the other leg for skinning
      • Leggers – would skin the animals around the hind legs only
      • Spear-cut crew – opened the sheep’s neck
      • brisket-pushers knifed the skin from the brisket
      • Knicklers & Splitters  – severed foreleg knuckles and removed them
        • They also sliced the carcass open without piercing the stomach
        • Kidneys removed
        • rectum knifed and freed and removed with the bladder
          • entire gut was placed in a tray for inspection and offal retrieval
      • Backer-off – removed the skin from the sheep’s back
      • Scalper – cut the ears and down the nostril to remove the skin to the skin chute
        • Head is removed, brain and tongue extracted
      • Hang-off team – carcass was inspected, branded and washed with water before being weighed
        • carcass weight was recorded on a ticket attached to the hock written in pencil
        • Carcass then taken to the chillers
      • Inspectors and Graders – would determine if the carcass was suitable for export (121)
        • Even though not suitable for export many could be still sold locally
      • Carcass was taken to a drying floor and bagged into white stockinette bags made of elasticised gauze (Pg 121)
        • Different grades had different colours allocated
          • Blue Insignia indicated first grade carcasses
    • Process of operation in the Pig Hall was as follows (Pg 122)
    • Pig slaughter hall was originally located West of the Beef hall at the old Northern works (Pg 122)
      • Animals were stunned prior to slaughter
      • Similar set up of chain procedures occurred as per the Sheep Hall
      • Hot-water bath – Scalding cabinet was heated to 50 degrees Celsius to assist in hair removal
      • spacing was important for various sizes of pigs to allow larger (Penalties) more time to be processed
      • Restrainer Hands – place pig in a restrainer to await stunning
        • Stunner was applied to the pig behind the ears with a regulated electric shock
        • Captive bolt was used on larger animals
      • Sticker – severed the jagular (Pg 123)
      • Shackler – hung the animals back legs on to the moving chain
      • Brand reader – read the brand and painted it on the pigs back and transferred the owners number to its tail
    • Chain would carry the pigs through the scalding vat after which a machine with rubber beaters revolved the carcass to remove hair
      • Further shaving and a blowtorch removed excess hair
    • Carcass was washed before final inspection for hair
    • Trimmers – removed eyelashes, ears, eardrums, tongues, tonsils and trotters
    • Slaughtermen – open the carcass and remove all internal organs some for further processing
  • Process of operation in the Beef Hall was as follows (Pg 124)
  • Gepps Cross initial beef processing used the bed and tackle or cradle system (Pg 124)
    • Method of a single animal was taken and butchered entirely before moving to another animal.
      • Animal was slaughtered and lowered on its back on a cradle to skin it, to then rehang the carcass to process (Pg 124)
      • Men usually worked in teams of 4, two on ladders, two on the ground
      • 8 slaughter teams worked in groups of 4
      • Clocks – kept track of the slaughtermans pace, Men weren’t allowed to go slower than the required pace.
  • String Gang (Canpak) method of slaughter was not introduced until 1960 (Pg 125)
    • labour required to process cattle using this system could be cut by 50%
    • Animal falls to a grate out of the knocking box after stunning and is slaughtered by a cut to the throat
      • Chain is placed around the hind legs to hoist the carcass and bleed it
      • Head and feet are cut off
      • Carcass is dressed on the rail while on the move
      • Workers are standing on adjustable platforms that can be adjusted to suit the requirements of the worker and task
  • Canpak method of slaughter for the Beef Hall is introduced in  1965 (Pg 125)
    • ‘dressing on the rail’ at this time was semi-automated with most tasks preformed by the slaughtermen except the hide stripping was preformed mechanically (Pg 125)
    • Fully automated ‘dis-assembly’ line wasn’t used at Gepps Cross until SAMCOR built an entirely new integrated Southern works in the mid 1970’s
    • Cattle rate of processing was more than 2 a minute (Pg 125)
  • Trade-union delegate and chain setter would prepare the slaughterers’ job allocation each day prior to work commencing (Pg 126)
    • Cattle moved from holding yards to the slaughter hall in races or passageways so they entered single file
    • knockers – performed the initial stunning
      • Prior to 1960 when the use of the captive bolt stunner was introduced animals would be hit on the head with a large hammer
        • Hammer and pithing were common practices but regarded as cruel methods of immobilisation (Pg 126)
      • After 1963 with the introduction of the Humane Killing Act stunners were used (Pg 127)
    • Sticking – severed the animals blood vessels after stunning and caused death (Pg 127)
      • Each beast produces 13 litres of blood
        • Captured and processed in to food and black pudding sausages
          • adhesives, stockfeed, fertiliser, glue, foam fire extinguishers, leather preparation and pharmaceuticals
          • Also cooked and coagulated to dry with the emerging powder bagged and sold at bloodmeal or blood and bone.
    • Religious slaughter was conducted at Gepps Cross (Pg 128)
      • Jewish shechita
      • Muslim halal
      • Both methods required animals to be fully conscious and facing west at the time of sticking and bleeding
      • Another Indian method requiring decapitation using a guillotine wasn’t used at Gepps Cross
  • Horns and feet were removed after bleeding (Pg 128)
    • usually used for pet food manufacturing or rendering
  • Hide was removed with an electric or pneumatice stripper (pg 128)
    • Hides received further processing at a site at the Western End of the Gepps Cross facility
  • Head is removed soon after slaughter in the Canpak method (Pg 128)
  • Evisceration is the process of removing the internal organs (Pg 128)
    • Segregation of edible and non-edible parts
  • Carcass is split in half vertically
  • Carcasses are graded on fat colour, butt shape and muscle score (Pg 130)
    • Fat depth and content is measures by term Chemical Lean (cl)
    • Authors note – higher cl percentage is less fat component.
  • During peak Gepps Cross operations, slaughter halls and all meat and fish capaabilities were in operation the facility employed
    • 12 veterinarians (Pg 135)
    • 70 fully qualified meat inspectors (Pg 135)
      • Gepps Cross trained inspectors and provided inspectors to abattoirs and boning rooms in SA and the NT (Pg 135)
      • Inspectors controlled the access to condemned carcasses to prevent us for human or pet-food consumption (Pg 135)
      • 190 meat inspectors were stationed at the Gepps Cross works but many inspected at other facilities (Pg 154)
  • March. A record store-cattle sale is conducted on 4,000 head (Pg 184)
  • Germany threaten to refuse import of beef from brucellosis infected herds (Pg 206)

1971

  • MEAB built a new dining hall and locker room with separate facilities for women in anticipation of employment of them when SAMCOR is established (pg 109)
  • Gepps Cross sheep markets are moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays (pg 201)
    • to allow retailers to provide fresh meat to consumers earlier in the week
  • June. A lamb that sold for $8.25 becomes the one millionth sold at Gepps Cross.(Pg 202)

1972

  • MEAB is replaced by the establishment of the South Australian Meat Corporation (SAMCOR) (Pg 99)
    • New boards task is to make Gepps Cross a viable proposition (Pg 233)
      • New board had greater powers than previous authority
    • Proposed changes were to (possible) inclusion of a union representative on the new board (Pg 233)
    • Eliminate approximately 210 butchers who regularly brought their livestock at the Gepps Cross markets (Pg 233)
      • Minimum killing quotas were implemented September 1973.(Pg 233)
    • Retail butchers were to have deliveries cut from daily to twice (Pg 234)
    • With the implementation of SAMCOR, as a government statutory authority they were obliged to employ more women and offer job opportunities (Pg 107)
  • Women workers are introduced to the Gepps Cross Workforce (Pg 99)
    • required to alleviate the labour shortage at the time
    • AMIEU stopped work in protest claiming that abattoir employees didn’t want to see their wives and girlfriends working in the environment of meat processing particularly during the lamb season when the pace was frenzied (Pg 99)
      • 900 stopped work in protest for two days against employment of women (Pg 108)
  • Growing shortage of lambs in the second half of 1972 (Pg 236)
  • USA meat inspection regulation requires that only carcasses completely free of bovine tuberculosis at post-mortem inspection are able to enter the country (Pg 207)
  • Stockowners Association ask MEAB to extend the Southern yards and install scales (Pg 217)
    • Necessary finance of extension $140,000 was not available, or $40,000 for the scales

1973

  • Extensive renovations are made to the Southern yards to use them for all sales of cattle through the pen method (Pg 178)
  • February. SAMCOR board conduct a study of all operations and consider slaughter facilities must be expanded immediately to meet essential needs of the meat industry and community (Pg 234)
    • $4.8M plan is announced to double the works capacity and slaughtering facilities (Pg 234)
      • New beef killing chain
      • 2 mutton chains
      • installation of air operated machinery
      • 2 hide strippers
      • Entirely housed in a new complex south of existing buildings
        • New facility was primarily to serve the local trade
      • Existing works was adequate for the current export throughput
  • Up to this point the Gepps Cross facility had charged all-embracing fee for services rendered (Pg 235)
    • restructure would see seperate chargesfor branding, droving, slaughter, overnight chilling, long term cold storage and delivery
    • Slaughter fee of ‘per head’ was introduced instead of ‘per pound’
    • Killing charges were increased
  • Gepps Cross facility had accumulated losses of $1.13M (Pg 235)
    • Skyrocketing wages were the biggest factor
      • wages accounting for 90% of facilities total operating costs
    • Community was synical of restructure and community ill informed of reasons for change (Pg 236)
      • severe worldwide shortage was causing retail prices of meat to rise overall and not as a direct result of SAMCOR increasing costs (Pg 236)
      • Meat prices had not kept pace with global inflationary trends
  • At this time SA was suffered severe loss of supply numbers due to lambs being transported interstate for slaughter (Pg 234)
    • Seasonal fluctuations in supply meant at times Gepps Cross didn’t have the capacity to handle lamb numbers and at times would be idle depending on seasonal conditions (Pg 234)
      • Numbers expected to be processed per week
        • 1,200 beef
        • 270 yearlings
        • 15,000 sheep and lambs
        • 700 pigs
      • Expected to employ further 500 people
        • reoganistion of all departments and introduction of a second shift in the beef hall reduced the wages bill by $1.7M
    • Some private companies were threatening to open their own works
  • At this time a severe shortage of lambs was occurring (Pg 236)
    • Mutton production declined due to higher wool prices and improved seasonal conditions (Pg 236)
    • 90% of Australian lamb production in consumed in Australia
  • September. Butchers minimum quotas are required (Pg 233)
    • 50 sheep, 50 lambs, 10 cattle, 10 calves and 10 pigs
    • Butchers feared they would lose their autonomy and forced to purchase from wholesalers
      • SAMCOR’s actions infringed their civil liberties
    • Small butchers banded together to meet quota

1974

  • By products plant is replaced by a new modern ‘continuous-render’ system (Pg 138)
    • New system is a dry render plant
      • materials are cooked at very high temperatures, in their own fats
      • cylindrical vessel equipped with an agitator.
      • Discharged fats and protein material are cooked until dry
  • Strike causes the cattle railings to be used to dry skins as the strike prevented the skins from being taken away for processing (Pg 100)
  • Computer selling of pigs is introduced (Pg 194)
  • The last general cattle market occurs in the Bull ring (Pg 179)
    • 6M head of cattle had passed through it during operation
  • Tail tagging of cattle prior to sale becomes compulsory (Pg 207)
  • Elders sales are boycotted  because they withdrew their discount to butchers and meat companies who paid their accounts within 7 days (Pg 211)
  • July 3. All Australian workers receive hefty pay increases as a result of a national wage case (Pg 100)
    • Each worker receiving an average increase of $15 per week
    • Gepps Cross yearly wages increased by $1.25M
      • $900,000 increase in workers compensation and pay roll taxes
      • Cost was passed to SAMCOR customers
        • 39% increase in killing fees were announced
          • in addition to 69% increase  in killing fees announced only months earlier
  • Concern was SAMCOR was pricing itself out of existence (Pg 237)
  • The bull ring auction area is used for the last time, It had been in operation for 61 years (Pg 167)
  • August. AMIEU impose work bans to support interstate members working in private abattoirs claiming a 33% pay rise (Pg 101)
    • SAMCOR general manager at the time. John Tidswell stood against the claims
      • received strong support from producers because prices crashed as soon as bans were announced
        • prices had been affected because of fear purchased stock wouldn’t be processed
  • October. SAMCOR commence buying livestock in the market to keep it’s processing chains in operation (Pg 237)
    • Causes a major livestock buyer boycott at the Gepps Cross markets
    • SAMCOR had not intended to compete on the SA wholesale market and was only supplying its own employees for their personal consumption
      • Meat buyers argued they were their clients and all levies and restrictions on meat import into the metropolitan area should be dropped
        • Private abattoir establishment be fostered

1975

  • Continuous price hikes occur (Pg 237)
  • Industrial disputes are common (Pg 237)
  • Severe downturn in throughput in the meat industry in general had taken hold (Pg 237)
  • Elders sales are put on notice of boycott due to their involvement in the live sheep export trade (Pg 211)
  • May. Chilled lamb trade to the Middle East collapses due to inadequate handling facilities in Iran (Pg 155)
    • Metro Meat had declined to provide to the trade 4 years previously due to the same issues of poor handling. (Pg 155)
  • October. Government Produce Department cease to exist (Pg 237)
    • Various functions are taken over by the State supply department and Department of Ag.
      • Legislation is implemented to transfer full control to SAMCOR
  • SAMCOR enter a 5 year contract with Sydney-based Fat City (Australia) to process 40,000 head of cattle a year for export (Pg 237)
    • SAMCOR were to provide killing and processing
    • Fat City would handle marketing of 10,000 tonnes of dressed beef per year in hamburger patties and portion control steaks suited to restaurant and fast food trade
      • Contract was cancelled in 1976
  • State Government independent report of SAMCOR find operations are largely favorable but unacceptably high cost were listed at problems (Pg 239)
    • Contradiction of a ‘service works’ charged with the task of breaking even
    • Great dissatisfaction with SAMCOR’s reliability and workmanship
    • Clients were having stock slaughtered at other facilities with greater service provision

Mid 1970’s

  • SAMCOR build the new Southern Works on the Gepps Cross site (Pg 117)
    • New works has covered sheep lairages
  • 2 water tanks of total capacity of 100,000 gallons are built (Pg 144)
    • Facility used 3M gallons of chlorinatd water each week for cleaning all areas of the works
    • Some water was derived from the River Murray

1976

  • Gepps Cross is awarded an export order contract to Isreal (Pg 154)
    • Religious custom required that cattle have a hole cut into the belly wall before the hide was removed to allow the Rabbi to insert their hand and feel for any disease (Pg 154)
  • October. Western abattoirs facility is built to replace the previous boiling down works (pg 140)
    • Pet food abattoir that disposed of condemned and dead livestock
    • Acted as a public convenience facility processing horses and zoo animals
    • Condemned meat was branded with green ink to signify it was pet food only 9Pg 141)
    • Stock disposal crew consisted of 2 men on 24 hour standby (Pg 141)
    • Disposal plant was operated by another 2 men (Pg 141)
    • Western abattoirs could process 100 sheep and up to 40 cattle and horses each week (Pg 141)
    • Closed in early 1990’s
  • Fat City cancel their contract started in 1975 for 40,000 head of processed cattle a year for export (Pg 237)
    • Significant blow to SAMCOR because it was to process 1,000 head a week in the new Southern Works that was coming on line
    • 2 possible reasons deal fell through
      • Fat City had financial difficulties
      • Fat City had not seeked approval to export processed meat to the US under the strict quotas in place at the time
    • Collapse of Fat City left SAMCOR holding $3.5M white elephant
      • Equipment laid idle while SAMCOR tried to find a new operator
  • Sheep of No commercial Value became worthless due to a prolonged drought (Pg 246)
    • SAMCOR offer to dispose of livestock at no charge to producerw who could no longer feed them

1977

  • At this time Mycom Ammonia refrigeration compressors were in use in the Southern Works (Pg 141)
  • Chillers and Freezers received all carton meat and bodies (Pg 141
    • Average daily processing of 6,000 – 8,000 mutton and lamb carcasses from the Northern works
    • 6,000 from the Southern works
    • 1,400 cartons of meatl
    • thousands of metres of running rails required cleaning by 2 men
    • Cold air forced into the chilling chambers by electric fans in the initial years.
    • Ammonia, the chilling agent was used in 2 miles of pipes.
  • Blast freezing equipment operated to minus 40 degrees Celsisus (Pg 145)
  • Southern Works is successfully commissioned as export licenced (Pg 241)
    • Closed indefinitely 18 months later
    • Suffered from continued engineering problems
    • Plant was closed before it was officially opened
    • Concern had been expressed at SAMCOR’s ability to restore the Gepps Cross facility to financial viability before building the Southern Works when the predecessor MEAB had be unable to operate profitably (Pg 241)
  • March. SAMCOR move into hamburger and portion control processing. (Pg 238)
  • June. SAMCOR cease meat delivery services (Pg 240)
    • Had been delivering to 700 outlets daily
  • SAMCOR suffered largest financial loss since 1972 (Pg 240)
    • 1976 / 77 Loss of $3.3M
  • SAMCOR take control of Port Lincoln abattoirs which adds to financial problems (Pg 243)

1978

  • Live sheep export dispute ‘ Operation Sheeplift’ (Pg 101)
    • Problems had been brewing for more than a year
    • AMIEU claimed jobs were being lost due to live sheep exports
    • Meetings had been held to discuss a ratio of carcasses to live sheep consigned for export
  • March 19. AMIEU impose a picket to prevent movement of 30,000 sheep from Elders GM’s paddocks at The Levels to Iran Cremona berthed at Port Adelaide
  • AMIEU were asked to provide substantive analysis of the impact of Live sheep exports on abattoir employment but it did not do so (Pg 101)
    • Producers endevoured to explain to AMIEU that any restraints were a detriment to not only their (producers) interests but also the meatworkers
  • Australian Woolgrowers and Graziers Council David Trebeck “Abattoir awards already recognised the somewhat variable nature of employment in the industry by containing a loading to compensate for times when employees may be temporarily out of work; the numbers of sheep which died each year on farms from ‘normal causes’ substantially exceeded the numbers being exported live; and the union’s record of industrial disputes in the meat industry cost 262,000 man days of work sufficent to provide full-time employment for 1,000 people” (Pg 102)
  • A Combined Livestock Committee consisting of producer groups was formed
    • resolution passed at the initial meetings (Pg 102)
      • “That all primary producers in South Australia be advised that they should market no livestock for handling by any South Australian export abattoir as from and including Tuesday 28 March because, due to industrial interference, the market place does not represent the true value of their produce” (Pg 102)
      • Gepps Cross market that week yardings;
        • 84 sheep – normally 18,000
        • 28 cattle – normally 3,000
      • In Western Australia farmers were made temporary port employees, there was picket line  violence
      • Abattoirs nation wide striked 4 days
      • South Australian producers protested in Adelaide, 4,000 vehicles assembled in eight locations
  • March 27. Smallest ever yarding of cattle sees 28 cattle offered for sale.(Pg 185)
    • Long simmering dispute over live sheep exports
  • May. An Inquiry finds that SAMCOR restricts fair trade in the metropolitan area (Pg 244)
    • Trading restrictions under the SAMCOR Act should be removed
    • Would allow SAMCOR to sell meat freely through the state
    • Another 7 SA abattoirs had permits to sell a percentage of their throughput into the metropolitan area
      • Paid inspection levy of 1.1c per kg
      • SA abattoirs without permits could only sell their meat outside the protected zone.
      • Interstate abattoirs could sell their meat on the Adelaide markets
        • Paid SAMCOR levy of 2.2c per kg
        • From 1960 when only 5,000 tonnes of meat was imported
        • 1978 saw 28,000 tonnes imported.
    • SAMCOR were no longer required to operate Gepps Cross as a maximum capacity service abattoir (Pg 245)
      • Continue to provide a service role
        • accepting stock to slaughter only if viable
        • Able to sell land surplus to requirements
      • State Government compensated SAMCOR $1.5M per year for assets made redundant by its reduced service and would continue to subsidise further losses
  • June. SAMCOR financial losses 1977 /1978 $4M (Pg 240)
    • Mostly attributed to record low stock throughput
    • desperate new business SAMCOR cut its export kill fees (Pg 243)
    • Government determined it could not continue to support heavy losses at SAMCOR
    • Incentive scheme was introduced  similar to WA Meat Commission
      • Operators were given a rebate if they garanteed to keep their throughput at a certain level (Pg 244)
  • October. Over 3 days a record sale occurs of 9,081 head of fat cattle.(Pg 184)
  • Difficult 5 years of operation – Drought, low throughput numbers, technical difficulties, lost contracts and industrial disputes had taken their toll (Pg 243)
    • Salaried staff were reduced from 270 to 170
    • Daily paid labour reduced from 1,600 to 850
  • November. Suggested change of operation of SAMCOR was to lower its meat inspection for non-export meat as other non-export abattoirs required.
    • Would open SAMCOR to direct competition
    • Government attempted to introduce a bill that made non export standards improve effectively that would force small local processors out of business (Pg 244)
      • Bill was defeated and disallowed

1979

  • January. Bull ring saleyards is used to sell horses (Pg 180)
  • March. Iran threatens to ban all Australian frozen lamb imports on grounds of  religious purity
    • Rabbi’s visited Gepps Cross and were critical but not objectional to (Pg 155);
      • knocking boxes not facing Mecca
      • Proper Muslim prayers not fully recited  as animals were killed by Halal method
    • The Rabbi’s objected to pseudo Muslims (Pg 155)
      • constantly questioning the Muslim slaughtermen to test their intensity of devotion to Islam
    • Trade was allowed to continue
  • Feral goats were slaughtered at this time, exported to Indonesia and the Middle East (Pg 155)
    • Approximately 500 per week were slaughtered
  • March. National Truck blockade over driver’s wages stops all road transport movements for several weeks.(Pg 185)
    • combined with a 3 weeks strike action by meat workers at SAMCOR
  • July. Meat workers Unions agreed to assist SAMCOR by increasing production by 15% without asking for a pay rise (Pg 243)
  • June. SAMCOR report a loss of $3.2M (Pg 245)
  • October. Sight unseen sales of pigs occur in the Bull Ring (Pg 180)
    • ‘Dressed weight’ basis and sales by description (Pg 194)
      • Pigs were sold prior to leaving the farm
      • Bids were on cents per kilogram basis
      • Guide to buyers was letter F or G describing the weigh range
      • Number indicating the back fat in millimetres
  • Southern Works plant that was only commissioned at the beginning of 1977 is indefinitely closed (Pg 241)
    • Drop in production demand
    • SAMCOR wanted to rationalise its slaughtering activities
    • 125 workers were laid off
    • Southern works instead of the Northern works was closed because the Norht concentrated on pig slaughter
      • Northern works became a combined beef for export and local markets
  • State government make a commitment of no retrenchments of government or government statutory authority employees (Pg 243)
    • Some workers became redundent due to reduced throughput
    • A fierce strike was averted at the state government decided to employ those workers affected elsewhere in the public service

1980’s

  • Modern facility for pig slaughter is incorporated into the Southern Works in the early 1980’s (Pg 122)
  • Iran trade of lambs and sheep is halted when Iran enters into war with Iraq (Pg 155)
    • War lasts for 8 years
  • Tumultuous time for Business consolidation and takeovers with many Pastoral houses merging with competitors and new term agribusiness emerges (Pg 215)
  • Weekly livestock agents draws are replaced by a rotation system (Pg 215)
  • January 1. BTEC – Brucellosis-tuberculosis eradication campaign is begun.(Pg 186)
    • Pens and yards are required for effective segregation of animals
  • Brucellosis causes cows to abort calves
    • Estimated 30% of Barkly tableland cattle alone carried the diseases of TB
    • Eradication was required to maintain access to overseas markets and improve cattle productivity, including protect human health
    • Germany had threated not to import beef from Brucellosis infected herds in 1970
    • BTEC program was a difficult logistical system due to complexity of testing procedures and absence of fully effective vaccines (Pg 207)

1980

  • Half of Australia’s 185,000 cattle herd is declared Brucellosis free
    • Eradication program to date has cost $110M
  • SAMCOR accumulated losses to this point $20M (Pg 243)
    • Overall loss for 17979/1980 $0.75M (Pg 246)
    • Operating profit of $1.1M for the same period (Pg 246)
    • In 8 years of operation SAMCOR had made a profit only once (Pg 245)
    • SAMCOR was only processing 30% of all livestock in SA
      • compared to 90% in the 1950’s
      • Further restructuring is required to lower losses
        • allow government and private companies to take up shareholding in SAMCOR
        • sell 164 ha worth $4M
        • Limit the works service role
  • USDA do not re register the Northern works pig slaughter for export (Pg 246)
  • Export beef and mutton halls were already de-registered and the works was confined to slaughter of animals for the local trade (Pg 246)
  • Northern works boning rooms were still up to standard and could continue to be export registered (Pg 246)
    • Wasn’t commercially viable to justify continued holding

1981

  • February. The Meat Hygiene Act is passed and proclaimed (Pg 154)
    • Under the Act, the meat inspection fee for meat entering from other states is abolished (Pg 154)
    • SAMCOR compete against competing slaughterhouses by cutting slaughtering fees processed for the local trade (Pg 154)
      • 10% reduction for cattle
      • 6% reduction for sheep and lambs
  • SAMCOR losses 2 major clients (Pg 155)
    • Wholesaler Thomas Borthwick & Sons sacle down SA operations
    • Bennets Farmers withdraws from meat buying
  • Freez Pak take on hamburger manufacturing operations at Gepps Cross (Pg 239)
  • When the Meat Hygiene Act came into force there were 130 slaughterhouses operating in SA (Pg 155)
    • 12 months later only 71 were in operation
      • These 71 licensed slaughterhouses processed less than 5% of the meat produced in the state
  • April. SAMCOR stop operating Western Works pet-food abattoir (Pg 246)
    • Private operator takes over this section 1 month later
  • May. Southern yards are utilised for BTEC segregation yards (Pg 186)
    • Segregated selling occurs until January 1984.
  • State Government become a major shareholder of SAMCOR – 80% equity (Pg 246)
    • Government paid the annual interest bill on the $26.5M Corporations outstanding loan debt of more than $28.5M
      • costing the government $2.6M per year
  • Areas under utilised were leased to tenants (Pg 246)
  • June. SAMCOR make a modest profit of $0.75M

1982

  • Elders build a massive feedlot at the The Levels – entrance area to the marketing stockyards to service the live export sheep trade (pg 33)
  • Port Lincoln abattoir is approved for USDA export (Pg 247)
    • Makes a loss of $900,000 (Pg 247)
    • 1979 report had indicated Port Lincoln be given 5 years to rectify position (Pg 247)
  • Closure of 20 meatworks around Australia since 1978 (Pg 247)
  • SAMCOR make an operating profit 2 years in a row (Pg 247)
    • 1981 /1982 $256,000
      • Southern Works had been operating to full capacity for the year
  • October. Northern Works facility is mothballed (Pg 247)

1983

  • SAMCOR – Gepps Cross make a profit of $294,595 (Pg 247)
    • Employment at Gepps Cross is the lowest in 30 years
    • Forecast reduction of cattle from the NT is expected
      • Port Lincoln facility has made a loss of $537,528

1984

  • Bull Ring is used as a filming location for ‘Robbery under Arms‘(Pg 180)
  • January. Final BTEC segregation of Southern yards is conducted.(Pg 186)
    • Cattle from restricted properties could not be sold in the saleyards and were consigned direct to slaughter (Pg 208)
      • Producers were concerned their stock were not subject to market competition and were losing money (Pg 208)
  • June 29. Port Lincoln abattoir is closed (Pg 247)
    • Port Lincoln abattoirs continue to lose money (Pg 247)
    • cumulative losses over 10 years were in excess of $9M
    • Works required minimum $200,000 pa to maintain to export standards
  • Doubts are raised if Gepps Cross can survive the fierce competition from private abattoirs in SA (Pg 249)
    • Recognition the small abattoirs are more efficient
    • Expected loss of $1.5 – $2M
      • Actual was $1.73M Loss
      • Livestock shortages
        • Cattle throughput was down 39%
        • Calves down 63%
        • Lambs and sheep down 43%
  • Wages were attempted to be renegotiated
    • SAMCOR had paid double time when time and ahalf was industry standard on paid overtime (Pg 249)
      • Could have saved SAMCOR $6,000 per week
  • July. An Auction is scheduled to clear the Northern works of surplus equipment and materials (Pg 249)
    • This is the beginning of the end of the Gepps Cross facilities
  • August. SAMCOR cease branding and droving services (Pg 247)
  • November. Sale of lambs by description is introduced (Pg 203)
    • New method was not successful and was cancelled 3 weeks later

1985

  • Mudginberri abattoir (NT) industrial dispute caused legal action under the Trade Practices Act against AMIEU, ordered to pay $1.7M in damages plus costs. (Pg 105)
    • largest amount ever awarded against a trade union
    • Changed the way the meat industry operated and introduced workplace enterprise bargaining agreements (Pg 105)
  • SAMCOR order new European pig processing machinery to accomodate increased demand to handle greater numbers at the Northern Works (Pg 195)
    • Space was converted in the Southern Works into 2 boning rooms
    • One Southern Works chain was converted to multi purpose pig and mutton line utilising both new equipment as well as machinery from the Northern works.
  • Northern Works is decommissioned (Pg 195)
  • January. BTEC study finds major short comings in the way the eradication program was handled
    • BTEC control had moved to North Australia
      • The most expensive phase of eradication
      • Producers protested they couldn’t meet testing requirements
        • increased mustering costs of helicopters particularly
        • Holding and remustering costs increased operational overheads
        • Some producers only alternative was to shoot all stock and restock with clean animals
      • European Economic community were protesting about Australia’s inability to supply the tonnages of beef it required
      • Severe drought at this time in the North
    • June. SAMCOR record a loss of $626, 235 (Pg 250)
      • Included payroll tax $555,716
      • Increased number of stock were processed
      • Consolidation of operations reduced losses
        • `Had been widespread disruption to abattoirs throughout Australia due to Mudginberri dispute.

1986

  • Consolidation of the Northern Works had been successful (pg 250)
    • Only departments left working at the site were administration, security, by products and the boiler house.
  • March. A second union representative is placed on the 6 man SAMCOR board (Pg 251)
    • Union loading is unprecedented and highly criticised
  • June. SAMCOR record a $1M loss
    • Rely heavily on sale of blood and bone for revenue
      • worldwide slump in prices
  • Ultimatum is issued by government that the works will be closed entirely if unions refuse to change their work practices and the plant fails to return a profit by 1988. (Pg 251)
    • Public Service Association would not consider cost cutting measures of standing down clerical and administrative staff during seasonal lows
    • AMIEU would not accept standing down of the entire workforce on slack days
  • A review suggested if drastic changes were not made SAMCOR’s cash reserves would be depleted by 12 months (Pg 251)
    • 1985 /1986 actual Loss was $995,136. (Pg 251)
  • Gepps Cross sheep and pig market areas were sold to the State government $2.24M (Pg 251)
    • Sold to relocate the Adelaide East End produce market
    • Financed the new pig hall and boning room in Southern works (Pg 263)
  • SAMCOR make a half year profit $526,000 (Pg 252)
  •  New pig slaughtering chain had been installed (Pg 252)
    • Was plagued with technical and industrial trouble

1987

  • SAMCOR lobby the state government to provide state-of-the-art scales facilities (Pg 217)
  • SAMCOR 1986 /1987 $622,521 profit (Pg 252)
  • June. Plans were underway to move the sheep and pig markets south, closer to the meatworks (Pg 263)
    • It would not cater for 100,000 sheep and lambs as it had done previously.
    • SAMCOR informed SA Stock Saleman’s Association that despite the yard sales if couldn’t afford to replace sheep and pig complex’s (Pg 264)
    • Some farmers were totally reliant on the Gepps Cross facility to sell their livestock (Pg 264)

1988

  • SAMCOR purchase collection business of Hortico By Products (Pg 252)
  • A Committee is established to explore the possibility of establishment and operation of new saleyards (Pg 264)
    • Possible sites were 2km west of the town
    • Snowtown
    • Port Wakefield
      • Vendors from south of Adelaide would be disadvantaged wanting facilities at Strathalbyn and Murrary Bridge improved
    • Mallal – 40km North of Gepps Cross
      • had railway access from Alice Springs, Broken Hill and Perth
      • was connected by 3 main highways and 5 secondary roads
        • Local residents were opposed to the yard establishment
          • costs to ratepayers to subsidise the development
          • side effects of smell, dust, weeks and compulsory acquisition of land
          • Producers land that was located near the site said they were not for sale.
        • Feasibility study presented 2 options
          1. $2.9M sheep, lamb and pig complex
          2. $4.2M incorporating a cattle selling facility as well
            • council approached government for $920,000 grant or interest free loan or $2M loan outright.

1989

  • SAMCOR is operating only 4 days per week (Pg 252)
  • Heavy rains have fallen restricting stock being submitted to be processed (Pg 252)
    • Cattle throughput drops 50%
    • Sheep numbers are down 75%
      • SAMCOR increases its killing charges by 40%
  • May. A developer expresses interest to invest $4.5M to build a new saleyard complex 3km North of Gepps Cross adjacent to the saltfields. (Pg 266)
    • Area was zoned as a holding area for sheep of the live export trade and would need rezoning by Salisbury council
  • November. A formal application is not made to Salisbury and hte project is abandoned (Pg 266)

1990’s

  • Pig Slaughter facilities in Australia introduces humane use of carbon-dioxide gas to immobilise the animals prior to slaughter (Pg 122)
    • CO2 renders the meat to be of better quality
    • CO2 wasn’t used at Gepps Cross
  • Western Abattoirs boiling down works that processes horses, zoo animals, condemned or dead livestock is closed (Pg 140)

1990

  • February. Bull Ring is placed on interim list of heritage buildings
    • Removed off the list in 2002
    • Building was decaying and projects were being considered for its repair
      • Building was burnt down in 2005
  • SAMCOR has been losing a great deal of money resulting in cutbacks to its services and yard maintenance (Pg 187)
  • Board is advised that the 1989/1990 year SAMCOR will make a profit (Pg 252)
    • Advice was wrong
      • Loss $1.7M
        • Loss was pinpointed to the Mutton line
    • Triennial review of SAMCOR reveals (Pg 252)
      • Poor accounting practices make it difficult to determine where losses occurred
    • Poor industrial relations were not only restricted to workers labour component (Pg 252)
    • In trying to minimise work stoppages heavy pigs were processed on the beef chain (Pg 252)
      • Unknown how this affected Halal slaughter requirements
      • Meant pigs killed on beef chain incurred a 300% rise in slaughter charges
    • Poor customer relations (Pg 252)
    • General failure to give SAMCOR direction through strategic planning (Pg 252)
      • Entire new board was appointed
      • Given 5 to turn the corporation into a profit making, efficient operation that didn’t ‘bleed off the state’
        • If the board was unsuccessful closure was inevitable
  • Gepps Cross saleyards are given a 5 year reprieve to relocate (Pg 266)
  • SAMCOR increased yard fees to cover higher lease costs and maintenance (Pg 266)
    • Gepps Cross yards were described at this time as the worst in Australia (Pg 266)
    • $1M in yard fees had been collected annually but no improvements or maintenance was done (Pg 266)

 

1991

  • Agents consider conducting sales of cattle, sheep, lambs and pigs all in one day (Pg 186)
    • Wholesalers and producers refuse to allow sales to occur
  • New selling method of Computer Aided Livestock Marketing (CALM) fails to live up to extravagant claims by agents it will replace the Gepps Cross yards (Pg 187)
  • State Government announce they would provide a loan of $167,000 to install live weight scales at Gepps Cross (Pg 217)
    • SAMCOR guaranteed one third
    • Agents had to guarantee two thirds
    • Gepps Cross at this point is the only major saleyard complex not incorporating liveweight selling facilities
  • SAMCOR make a profit of $786,494 (Pg 253)
    • Outdated state award wage system was replaced with modern federal award (Pg 253)
      • Result was improved productivity, higher wages and opportunity for increased employment
  • August. Computer controlled blood processing works is opened (Pg 283)
    • Cost $250,000
  • December. A field day is held to show industry representatives the corporation’s turnaround (Pg 253)
  • Overland Meat Exports commence operating a boning room at the works (Pg 253)
    • In addition to current Holco & RJ Gibertsons

1992

  • News articles are reporting the Southern yards to be in a deplorable state and that all maintenance of the facility had ceased (Pg 187)
  • June. SAMCOR make a 2nd years operating profit $1.379M
    • A record for profit for SAMCOR in entire operation period
  • August. T & R withdraw its beef and sheep contract and send its stock elsewhere to be slaughtered (Pg 253)
    • T & R were said to have withdrew contracts with no notice to SAMCOR
    • SAMCOR’s sheep processing went from 9,000 per week to zero
      • T & R had been responsible for 97% of the small stock processing at Gepps Cross
    • T & R had held 44% of the cattle processing at Gepps Cross
  • Local trade were supportive of Gepps Cross (Pg 253)
    • Works processed
      • 3,600 sheep one day a week
      • 450 cattle each for 4 days of the week
      • Pig processing remained unchanged at 4,000 per week

1993

  • Consortium company – Liveweight Scales Pty Ltd is formed to operate the scales (Pg 217)
    • Elders, Dalgety and SAMCOR
    • Based on Albury-Wodonga Municipal Saleyards
  • May. Live-weight selling is introduced (Pg 187)
    • Causes congestion in the yards due to the need of animals to be weighed and yards emptied.
    • All livestock were weighed pre-sale (Pg 217)
      • Altered to post-sale 15/10/2001
  • Newmarket saleyards in Melbourne had been using liveweight selling since 1975 (Pg 216)
  • Extensive modification was required to modify the yards to suit large scale weighing (Pg 187)
    • originally the yards had been build to accommodate stock arrival by train
    • By the mid 1990’s all stock arrived by road and the facilities couldn’t cope with the vehicle needs of larger truck road trains.
    • Truck road trains also required side loading/unloading where as previous trucks were rear loading.
  • June. SAMCOR suffered operating loss $2.5M (Pg 253)
    • Loss mostly attributed to 200% increase in workers compensation and
    • Loss of its largest client (T & R Pastoral – Holco)
  • Discussion is suggested in the media to move the saleyards to a new site at Bolivar near the sewerage treatment works (Pg 267)

1993

  • Gepps Cross operators attempt to diversify (Pg 253)
    • Successful slaughtering of deer were conducted in trials.
  • December. South Australia is nearly bankrupted  by losses made by its state bank (Pg 255)
    • New Liberal government – Dean Brown is elected in a landslide.

1994

  • February. 70 red deer sourced from SA were processed under export conditions (Pg 254)
    • Venture was short lived.
  • New customers couldn’t be found to replace T & R (Pg 254)
    • SAMCOR’s future was grim
  • June. State government calls for expression of interest for development, demolition or salvage of 6.6 hectares and approximately 50,000 square metres of buildings comprised of Metropolitan and Export abattoirs (MEAB) Northern works (Pg 255)
    • Included large tracts of land and associated buildings for livestock and meat industry had already been sold previously to Adelaide produce markets
  • Sale of the land was viewed critically by livestock industry as the government was seen to assist relocation of the produce markets but not livestock (Pg 255)
    • None of the revenue from sale was returned to the SA livestock industry (Pg 255)
    • Many in the livestock industry felt powerless to act
      • Concern that the sale funds would be deposited to general revenue and not used to pay for current market facilities that were deteriorating at a disastrous level
  • Meat Livestock Australia Top 25 processors. Gepps Cross is rated 16 (Pg 256)
    • Exports 55% of its kill
    • Turnover of $20M
  • August 3. State Cabinet are considering 3 options (Pg 255)
    1. Continue with operations as they are
    2. Close the facility
    3. Put the works up for sale
  • August 7. Decision by State Government had been made to sell the 49 hectare site including buildings, plant and by products site (Pg 255)
    • Metro Meat were rumoured to have taken over the Gepps Cross works and closed its Noarlunga operations.
      • Went against regulations of the Trade Practices Act
        • Metro had recently taken over Naracoorte for new owners China International Trust and investment Corporation
        • Metro owned export works in Murray Bridge, Noarlunga and Naracoorte
  • October. Auctioneers walk way is removed from above the sale pens.(Pg 267)
    • Stock agents and clerks were unable to conduct the sales efficiently
    • SAMCOR’s liability insurance was found not to cover accidents involving the walkways use due to its state of dis-repair
  • Private investors were sought to fund the relocation of the yards (Pg 267)

1995

  • June. SAMCOR generate a loss of $3.2M for 1994 /1995 (Pg 256)
    • Below capacity operations at the works
    • Requirement of $2.8M to be set aside for Workers Compensation fund
  • July. Unless a joint venture partner was found the pigs sales would occur at the Southern Yards cattle market (Pg 268)
  • August. Mallala is announced by the state Government a the new relocation for the selling yards (Pg 268)
    • new proposal was initially a co-operative, now replaced by a proposal of unlisted public company (Pg 268)
    • Total cost $4.5 – $5M
      • new yards to accomodate 35,000 sheep and lambs
      • 2,000 pigs
      • 2,900 cattle with allowance up to 4,200 cattle
      • Prospectus was issued in October.
  • October. Gepps Cross is advertised for sale (Pg 256)
  • World beef prices at this time were at record highs (Pg 257)
  • December. 6 month operation losses $1.364M (Pg 258)

1996

  • Elders sales are boycotted at Gepps Cross due to contract Elders had won to supply beef
  • to Korea (Pg 211)
    • Buyers for other suppliers were angry Elders had exported 800 tonnes of beef sourced directly from producers and the market system
    • ACCC viewed Elders increased involvement in beef exports to Korea as possible breach of trade Practices Act
  • March. Report into the Australian National (AN) Railways is commissioned (Pg 228)
    • AN losses had blown from $26M to $100M in 1995/1996
    • Recommendation was to close all unprofitable lines, effectively scrapping the hauling of livestock
    • Railways typically been able to recover 15% of the costs of carrying livestock
    • Only QLD provides continued railway livestock services with major external subsidies and indirect taxes on coal transport while recovering only 15c in every dollar spent to undertake the task (Pg 229)
  • Concern is increasing for the delay in securing a buyer for SAMCOR (Pg 256)
  • March 27. Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service withdraw 4 SAMCOR export licences (Pg 256)
    • USA
    • Canada
    • Poland and
    • Brazil
    • 2 others suspended, European Union and Mexico are also shut down
    • Structural maintenance issues and operational hygiene procedures are not up to standards required to meet the above markets
  • SAMCOR at this time was the only service export abattoir in the state and effectively shut down access to lucrative markets. (Pg 257)
    • Exporters were forced to have stock processed interstate
      • increased costs or forced scaling down of some operations
    • Beef market was already flat due to global supply
    • Britain had an outbreak of Bovine spongiform encephaopathy (BSE)
  • April. A new site for the saleyards is secured (Pg 269)
    • 160 hectares north of Two wells, Dublin.
  • May. Corrective action allowed re-instatement of 4 delisted and 2 suspended licences (Pg 257)
    • Only for beef
    • no mutton export was allowed
  • World beef prices dropped to their lowest in 22 years (Pg 256)
    • Australia’s largest beef customer – Burger King Corporation of the USA
      • Announce they will access product 100% from the USA
      • McDonalds reinstate their long held policy of buying US domestic beef
  • June. Canadian based beef processor Better Beef Limited express interest in Gepps Cross (Pg 257)
    • Planned a 5 year lease with a right to buy
      • Planned to restructure the works
        • employed 650 people producing vacuum-packed frozen beef offals, burgers, sausages and beef tongues
  • Adelaide based Austral Meat and Overland Meat Exports had also expressed interest in Gepps Cross (Pg 257)
    • Estimated $6M price
  • July. SA Government announce it has abandoned outright sale of the works (Pg 257)
    • Citing a confirmed acceptable bid could not be negotiated
    • Claimed Better beef had changed original tender from purchase to lease proposal after tenders closed
    • Operators at Gepps Cross were confused and concerned
      • feared they would be shut out of processing by international companies entry
  • August 30. Second round of tenders close for sale of Gepps Cross (Pg 258)
  • October. May to October Government used more than $1.2M to enable Gepps Cross to remain operational (Pg 258)
  • December. Republic of Tatarstan, a former Russian Soviet state purchase SAMCOR
    • Corporation Agpro Australia (Pg 259)
      • SA registered company with links to former Russian state
    • Paid $5.3M for the meatworks
      • SAMCOR’s facilities would be allowed to continue operation
      • Foreign Investment review board required approval
  • Dublin saleyards receive planning approval (Pg 269)
    • For sheep and pigs
    • Almost a replica of the new Bendigo saleyards in Victoria
      • Built to Australian national quality assurance standards
  • Now cattle producers, stock agents and cattle buyers were concerned about where their current Southern yards market area that was facing imminent closure (Pg 269)

1997

  • January 27. Foreign review board give approval for Agpro purchase of Gepps Cross (Pg 259)
    • Abattoir would continue operating as a service abattoir
    • Existing clients could continue to use Gepps Cross complex at current pricing structure
    • pig chain slaughter was in doubt due to Halal slaughter requirements of cattle and sheep
    • Agpro would have tenure at Gepps Cross until 2009 (Pg 260)
      • under directive of Environment Protection Authority
  • January 28. Last day of slaughter by SAMCOR (Pg 113)
  • Australia is declared free of Brucellosis and Tuberculosis (Pg 208)
    • 27 years eradication program costing in excess of $850M
    • Australia was the first country to be declared free.
  • AMIEU impose a industrial dispute soon after take over by Agpro (Pg 260)
    • Agpro wished to change wage structure from tally system to flat pay-rate with bonuses.
      • Current tally system required 6 payroll staff to administer
      • Agpro wanted to abolish extra payments for handling dirty animals, heavier animals, missed hooks on the chain and when production stopped due to machinery breakdown
      • Tally system had been in place since 1960’s
      • 20 meatworks had closed in Australia in the previous decade
        • Pressure was to ensure abattoirs operated at peak efficency
      • Tally system was maintained but with no extras
  • February. Dispute carried on for a further 2 weeks (Pg 260)
    • Agpro announce bulldozers will level the SAMCOR building if the worsening union dispute couldn’t be resolved and production resumed
    • Equipment would be exported as there was demand for it
  • February 18. Agpro back down to union demands (Pg 260)
    • Meat export contracts are in jeopardy
    • Gepps Cross livestock markets were collapsing
      • Union reject offer due to unions court action over another matter involving redundancy payments to workers affected by the sale of the works
  • March. Production resumes (Pg 261)
  • July. First export shipment of by products valued at US$300,000 leaves Gepps Cross
    • First part of a 4 year contract to supply meatmeal, bonemeal and tallow to the former Soviet state
  • September. A Prospectus is launched urging livestock producers to become shareholders.(Pg 269)
    • Livestock Markets Limited (LML) failed to secure $2.4M investment required to access a further $3.4M in bank and state government loans for first stage of construction at Dublin for cattle yards (Pg 269)

1998

  • January. Agpro refuse to renew LML’s current lease of Gepps Cross saleyards (Pg 269)
    • Agpro think the saleyards and markets should remain at Gepps Cross
      • Wanted sales to stay at the abattoir site until it would be forced to relocate the itself in 2009 under state government order (Pg 270)
    • Agpro continue with modifications to Southern Yards at Gepps Cross to accomodate sheep sales (pg 270)
    • Court injunction prevents Agpro from not renewing contract of use of yards at Gepps Cross (Pg 270)
  • Adelaide Businessman and Cattle producer Alex Karytinos steps into take over new complex closer to Adelaide and not Dublin (Pg 270)
    • Would build and operate the new complex of stockyards
    • LML wouldn’t be involved in the project
    • Ground works had already begun at Dublin
  • Initial investors of LML were returned their contributions (Pg 270)
  • Alex Karytinos decided to invest elsewhere and the relocation project was once again thrown into confusion (Pg 270)
  • June 30. Gepps Cross site is set to expire (Pg 271)
    • No alternative site to move to and an emergency contingency plan was drawn up for selling livestock after the yards closed
    • Plans were made to relocate markets to other existing saleyards
      • Murrary Bridge
      • Bowmans
      • Balaklava
  • Agpro still planned to build new yards next to the Southern Yards cattle market
    • Against the advice of stock agents due to the lack of feasible and practical use of cattle yards for sheep
  • November Viv Oldfield, Alice Springs Drilling contractor and pastoralist buys all LML shares and recommences the work at the Dublin site (Pg 271)
    • Dublin would be ready for operation Mid 1999.
    • Stock agents and producers were extremely relieved and said they would support the Dublin yards (Pg 271)
  • November 24. Last sheep and lamb market to take place at the original Gepps Cross yards occurs (Pg 272)
  • December 1. New Agpro sheep market yards sited adjacent to the Gepps Cross cattle markets started use. (Pg 273)
    • problems with the design and operation
    • Yards had been bituminised causing summer heat problems for animals
    • Insufficent amount of drafting space
    • Durability of bitumen and yards was of concern
    • Midfield Meat refused to buy from Gepps Cross
    • Yards became slushy in wet weather.

 

1999

  • Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) declare the Gepps Cross cattle market as unsafe following severe injuries to stockmen (Pg 188)
    • Remedial action notice was issued.
    • Prohibition notice was issued to 6 companies to prevent them loading at certain areas
  • January. Pig selling method of ‘sight unseen’ was losing favour for some time and discontinued (Pg 195)
  • April. Dublin yards are taking shape (Pg 273)
  • June. Sale method of pigs by dollars per head is finished (Pg 195)
  • Gepps Cross pig and sheep markets are relocated to new modern selling facility at Dublin.(Pg 195)
  • July 6. Last sale of ‘new’ Gepps Cross yards occurs. (Pg 273)
  • July 13. Dublin Adelaide Plains Livestock Exchange (APLX) saleyards begins operation (Pg 275)
    • Cost $6M
    • Marks a new era in livestock selling in South Australia
    • Initially comprised on sheep and pig selling
  • At this point there is still no decision on future of Southern Yards Cattle market at Gepps Cross(Pg 276)
    • Lease due to Expire January 2001. (Pg 276)
  • July 15. T & R Pastoral announce it would cease operations at Agpro (Pg 261)
    • 300 workers lose their jobs
    • T & R commence operations at Murray Bridge in August 1999
      • T & R purchased Murray Bridge March 1999.
  • Saleyards relocation from Gepps Cross to Dublin is occurring (Pg 261)
    • Dublin yards are nearing completion
    • Agpro announce a reduction in yard fees to attract producers to the Gepps Cross yards
  • November. Gepps Cross abattoir infrastructure is advertised for sale (Pg 261)
    • Advertised offers for subleasing of refrigerated chillers, boning rooms, food processing facilties and industrial workshops short and long term.
  • Analyst Glen Keil  in reference to Gepps Cross demise
    • “It’s client base had been lost due to failure to provide an adequate client service at competitive rates”
    • Expansive abattoirs are now superseded by smaller, compact plants using shift work labour force to maximise efficency”

2000

  • State Government Administrative and Information Services seek a hazard identification audit (Pg 188)
    • To institute a  maintenance and repair program to ensure the safety of workers and the public
    • The Gepps Cross yards did not comply
  • Little money was being spent on the yards as they did not have a long term future.
    • New yards were hoped to be built 50km north at Dublin.
  • Coles and Woolworths had supermarkets located either side of the yards and were lodging complaints of stench.
  • EPA conducted further tests and declared the yards had to be moved
  • Petition was begun to lobby the state government for $3M grant to relocate the Gepps Cross yards to Dublin
  • Government responds angrily to comments that it has not assisted the industry (Pg 189)
    • Taxpayers have spent $23M in the running of Gepps Cross over the past 10 years
      • Recouping only $4.8M from SAMCOR

2001

  • January. Seemed certain that Gepps Cross cattle market would be forced to move to Strathalbyn (Pg 277)
  • No deal had been signed for a Cattle market at Dublin as different stakeholders couldn’t agree on conditions (Pg 277)
  • February. Elders and Wesfarmers Dalgety agreed to sign on a $1M contribution from each for construction of the new works (Pg 277)
    • Managers of LML accuse Primary Industries minister Rob Kerin of backing away from a promise to support the project with $1M
    • Project required government support in form of a guarantor in order to gain a bank loan.
  • September. Work begins on Dublin cattle yards (Pg 277)

2002. 

  • October. Former by products plant is set ablaze by arsonists (Pg 283)
  • December 16. Last Gepps Cross cattle market is held (Pg 277)

2003.

  • January 20. New cattle markets occur at Dublin (Pg 278)
    • 7 years of planning
    • $20M in investment

2004

  • February. The last livestock train from Alice Springs carried only 25 empty cattle vans all to be scrapped (Pg 229)
  • By end of 2004 all trace of once a massive complex at Gepps Cross saleyards, ramps, platforms and offices are removed (Pg 229)

2005

  • January. Former Gepps Cross Cattle sale ring is destroyed by fire (Pg 162)

2006

  • March 15. Derelict former Gepps Cross abattoir administration building is destroyed by a deliberately lit fire (Pg 283)

Scone

Scone was recently purchased by JBS in their acquisition of Primo small goods. Scone is a beef and sheep export accredited plant, currently in operation.

Other Names

  • Scone Primo
  • Scone JBS

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #0262 – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Scone).1
    • registered as a Beef and sheep, Offal export facility.1

Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au

Location   

  • Scone is located in eastern NSW. Approximately 150km north west of Newcastle

Aust. Scone

scone 2

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner/s

  • Primo smallgoods.2
    • P & M Quality Small goods Pty Ltd (Primo).8
    • Purchased Scone site in 2000.2
      • sold in 2015 to JBS
  • JBS Australia – purchased 2015

Beef central 27.11.2014.b

JBS logo. Source Beef Central 27.11.2014

Operation   

  • Scone is currently an export accredited facility that processes only cattle.

Other historical and current meat processing facilities located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

History of  Scone Establisment # 262

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.77
    • 27 have some level of foreign ownership.77
    • Ownership dominated by Japan, UK and the US.77

1996

1999

  • May. Aberdeen abattoir (NSW) closes employed 400 people, Owned by AMH.81
  • More Hunter abattoirs could be threatened in a meat industry shake-up.81
  • State government are negotiating with AMH  to persuade the company to re-open Aberdeen.81

2000

  • Primo Small goods purchase the Scone abattoir site.2
  • Scone was previously only a domestic registered site, after Primo acquisition it was export accredited.8
    • Prior to Primo purchase the abattoir had been a multi species processing facility supplying mainly Hunter and Sydney butchers, It was converted to only beef for export accreditation.40
    • Primo smallgoods already established company that specialise in premium quality deli meats.2
      • Primo was established in 1985, originally at Homebush, Sydney.3
    • Have a manufacturing plant at Chullora, Sydney.2
      • Purchased Port Wakefield Abattoir in SA in 1999, pig processing plant with capacity to process 10,000 pigs per week.2
  • Scone abattoir, single species plant (beef).3
    • Central point of Primo meats production of increasing fresh meat business.3

2001

  • Primo purchase a Melbourne distribution facility to support expanding growth in Victoria.2

2002

  • Scone abattoir under goes a $15M expansion.82
  • August. Primo has turned to Hunter Institute of TAFE for its training needs.82
    • TAFE will train 150 employess under existing traineeships.82
    • 50 new entrants later.82
    • main objective is that training will comply with requirements of the export licence.82
    • Training to be conducted in the workplace, onsite and at the TAFE.82
  • Scone facility expected to require more than 300 employees by the end of the year.82

2003

  • April. Scone Abattoir is set to double its staff numbers.83
    • currently employs 190.83
    • following expansion will employ 350-400 over the next 12 months.83
  • Area was currently in drought and the extra jobs would give the region a boost.83
  • Further expansion is planned with a development application before the Scone Council for a small-stock boning room and packing room.83
  • The plant mainly kills and debones but recently has started value adding services for direct sale from supermarket shelves.83
  • Parkville Piggery near Scone went into voluntary administration.83
    • owned by Taiwanese-Indonesian interests.83
    • Looking for a buyer for the facility.83
    • Owe $2.5M. Employ 30 people.83
  • December. An Engineer who was burnt by ammonia is expected to lose his sight.6

2004

  • Scone abattoir could face major stock shortages if one of its main suppliers are forced to close.84
    • Killara feedlot, near Quirindi supplies 80% of Scones slaughtering stock.84
    • Lack of water could force it to close within 18 months.84
    • Feedlot’s application for 15,000 ML water could be cut by 70%.84
      • New State Governments water sharing plan for the Namoi Valley.84

2007

  • Port Wakefield plant is guttered by fire (Owned by Primo).9
    • Caused $15M damage, started by an electrical fault.9
    • no people or animals injured.9
    • Employed 368 employees and up to 100 other contractors.9
      • including 10 skilled Chinese migrants.9
      • redundancies not been ruled out.9
    • Primo had plans for further investment and doubling of the workforce.9
    • Had been processing 11,000 pigs each week.9

2006

  • Primo acquire the Mayfair brand and a manufacturing plant in Greenacre.2
  • Closure of the export abattoir at Aberdeen abattoir (NSW) had significant effects on the livestock sale methods in the region.7
    • Saleyard inputs significantly increased.7
      • Many saleyard opportunities meant greater journeys.7
      • affected animal welfare and operation costs.7
      • many producers had to form marketing groups to make up enough numbers to sell for viable transport.7
  • Small domestic facilities in the area.7
    • Woy Woy (NSW) now closed, Kurri and Scone (domestic  license before export accreditation in 1999.8) catered to the local trade markets of Newcastle and Sydney.7
      • positive impact on production of vealers, yearling steers and heifers.7
        • paid a lesser price per kilogram.7
  • Export licensed facilities in the area.7
    •  Ipswich (QLD), Singleton (NSW), Wingham (NSW) then owned by Nippon.7
      • Continue to source large number of stock from the region.7
      • require heavier than 240kg carcase weight (480kg LW).7
    • Tamworth (NSW) then owned by Cargill tends to kill lighter cattle for supermarkets.7
    • Scone (Primo) kills mainly domestic cattle, with small numbers of stock for the smallgoods sector.7
  • Primo Australia Scone abattoir is ranked equal 25 of the top 25 red meat processors in Australia.8
    • Throughput in 2006 32,000 estimated tonnes carcase weight.8
      • Includes tonnage of Port Wakefield plant
    • Kill share percentage of 1.1% (across Australia).8
    • Employs 360 people.8
  • Scone plant has been upgraded in the last 5 years.8
    • New slaughter floor, export boning room, chiller and freezer facilities.8
    • improvements to rendering and environmental structures.8
  • Scone plant is currently operated/owned by P & M Smallgoods Pty Ltd (Primo).8
  • Currently processing 600 head cattle a day.8
    • one shift.8
    • processing grassfed and grainfed yearling prime cattle, as well as export steer and cows.8
    • Most livestock sourced from Hunter region, Eastern NSW.8
  • Primo’s major export markets are Korea, USA, Japan, Canada and Taiwan
    • Exports 40%.8
    • Domestic supply 60%.8

2007

  • Primo Australia Scone abattoir is ranked equal 21 of the top 25 red meat processors in Australia.10
  • Throughput in 2007 35,000 estimated tonnes carcase weight.10
    • Port Wakefield not in operation at this time.
  • Kill share percentage of 1.22% (across Australia).10
  • Employees 360 people.10
  • Primo have begun re-construction of Port Wakefield site following devastating fire in 2007.10
    • re commissioning expected to be September 2008.10
  • Primo’s major export markets are Korea, USA, Japan, Canada and Taiwan.10
    • Exports 50%.10
    • Domestic supply 50%.10
  • Scone facility is currently processing 600 head per day.10
    • Largest employer in the region.10
    • Has capacity to process 35,000 ETCW.10
  • Primo major brands are.10
    • Hunter Gold, Primo and Milton Farm.10
  • St Heliers Correctional Centre commence a work release program with Primo meats at Scone.12

2008

  • Primo acquire cold storage facility.2
    • Included equipment at a Blackwater manufacturing facility.3
  • Februrary. Primo could face fines of up to $275,000 if found guilty of labelling foreign pork as local product.85
  • Primo is under investigation for meat imported from Denmark & Canada.85
    • Primo have voluntarily withdrawn some products.86
    • Meat in question is a very small volume of the companies total business.86
  • Currently 70% of the manufactured pork market in Australia (hams, bacon and smallgoods) is made up of product sourced from highly subsidised countries such as Denmark, lesser extent Canada and the US.85
  • December. St Heliers Correctional Centre has had 30 inmates progress through their work release program with Scone abattoir.12
    • 6 workers have secured permanent employment with the facility.12
    • When prisoners have been involved with work experience their liklihood of reoffending reduces.12

2009

  • Primo acquire the entire business operations of a former competitor – Hans Continential smallgoods.2
    • Improved overall Primo efficiencies.2

Beef central 27.11.2014

Primo Logo Source Beef Central 27.11.2014

2010

  • February. Contractor suffered serious burns when he cut a gas pipe and it ignited.19
  • Work is scheduled to occur on fire damaged portion of abattoir.11

IBIS Jun 2010_edited-1

Major Companies in the Australian Red meat processing industry

Source IBIS world June 2010

  • September. Primo Australia Scone abattoir certifies that the establishment has a HACCP based food safety program.13
    • Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) is responsible for auditing.13
    • HACCP plan is re-assesd annually or when ever there are alterations or additions to the process.13
    • Part of the HACCP requirement is microbiological testing of carcases during processing and further testing of manufactured meat destined for grinding.13

2011

 

  • January. Devastating floods across Central and southern QLD and large parts of NSW and Victoria.79
    • affected slaughter numbers to abattoirs.79
  • April. Worker is killed when the roof of a freezer collapses on him.14
    • Taiwanese national was trapped under rubble and fallen ice.14
    • 290 workers were evacuated.14
  • Blast freezer wall 5m high collapsed.15
    • four other blast freezers similar to the one that collapsed were adjacent to it.15
    • All were shut down.15
    • build up of ice had contributed to the collapse.15
  • Other freezers in other parts of the facility were in operation.15
  • Workers were back in the job, day after the collapse.15
  • Scone currently had 25 Taiwanese nationals working at the site.15
    • as well as 100 Chinese nationals.15
  • Work scheduled in shut down period (Chrismas) to occur on rendering shed.11
  • 7. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

    Red Meat throughput Australian abattoirs, Foreign and Australian owned 2011 Source ABARES foreign ownership 2011 Pg 29

  • October. Affinity Equity Partners become a major shareholder of Primo.2
    • Acquire 70.1% of the Primo group.2
    • reported $900M.22

 

2012

  • Primo open a $200M factory in Wacol, QLD.2
  • Primo group are currently Australia’s largest Ham, Bacon, Salami and Deli meats manufacturer.2
    • supply nations major retail groups.2
  • September 12. Registration of trademark name Hunter Valley Quality Meats Est No 262.16
    • Trademark number 1513894.16
  • November. Coonabarabran abatttoir (NSW) Bunganbah Meats closed November 2.17
    • 30 people out of work.17
    • Was the only facility 3 species abattoir west of the Great Dividing range in NSW that provided a service kill for local butchers.17
    • None of the larger abattoirs serviced small scale butchers.17

2013

  • October. Scone abattoir is fined $110,000 after a contractor suffered serious burns when he cut a gas pipe and it ignited Feburary 2010.19
  • December. EBA negotiations had been going for 7 months.21
    • 150 union members would take part in a strike action.21
    • day shift and afternoon shift would each strike for 2 hours.21
      • with an indefinite overtime ban to follow.21
    • Fair work commission had approved further strike action.21
  • Primo managing director Paul Lederer.21
    • Primo started in 1985 with 38 people.21
    • Now employed 4,000 .21
    • Turned over $1.3B a year.21
  • AMIEU Grant Courtney – changed conditions at the abattoir meant Primo expected meatworkers to process 20% more animal carcasses a day.21
    • workers wanted productivity payments.21
    • Company wouldn’t consider.21
  • AMIEU claim that Primo were  employing another 300 or so people through labour hire firms.21
    • local people were being knocked back for jobs.21
    • Company was employing back-packers and foreign nationals.21

2014

  • January. Union members went on strike twice before christmas over EBA.22
  • Paul Lederer published an advertisement in the local paper as an open letter to the Scone community.22
    • described the strike action as irrational and ridiculous..22
    • “Union demands are totally unreasonable and will only destroy more jobs in the industry”.22
  • Unions response “this company can hardly cry poor turning over $1.2B a year and with its chief executive one of the richest men in the meat industry”.22
  • Primo pays the lowest wages in meat processing around the country and the workers employed through third party labour hire companies earned even less” Grant Courtney.22
  • “For nine years while the Scone plant was not profitable, Paul Lederer pumped money into keeping it going and everyone employed” Primo Spokesperson.22
  • AMIEU is angry Paul Lederer  heads a consortium to buy the Football team ‘Wanderers’.23
  • March. AMIEU claim vast majority of workers at the Scone abattoir are forced to work excessive hours, grossly underpaid, mistreated, including allegations of sexual harassment.24
  • Workers are paid $7.70 per hour, less than minium wage and not advised to pay tax.25
    • up to 90% of the entire workforce are international.24
    • 70% of Primo’s workers on temporary 417 Visa’s.24
      • people could stay and work for 2 years.24
    • foreign workers are replacing local workers.87
    • 75 workers stated they had been advised by the labour hire company to lodge an Australian Business Number (ABN) without being advised to get a Tax file number.25
    • Estimation of 10,000 temporary international workers working in the Australian meat industry.24
    • Labour hire company – Scottwell recruits Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean employees to work in abattoirs.24
      • across 19 different facilities in 3 states.24
      • 1,100 people.24
  • Primo deny claims workers are underpaid.25
  • Fair work Ombudsman take court action over claims by the AMIEU that workers at Scone abattoirhave been underpaid more than $41,000.26
    • Amounts ranging from $347 to $10,257.26
    • Employees were Chinese entry level labourers in slaughtering, boning and dispatch.26
    • 8 of the workers are casuals on short term visa’s.26
    • 2 were immigrants employed full time.26
    • Employees worked more than 38 hours, but received no overtime or penalties for casual loading, public holidays.28
    • full time workers were -sham contracting. Ray Holding has represented to the two full time employees they were independent contractors.28
    • Legal action commenced against Raying Holding Pty Ltd and another individual- who supplied the workers.26
      • hearing to be held March 28 in Sydney.27
      • Raying Holding face penalties $51,000 per breach.26
      • Alleged underpayments have been rectified but legal proceedings were commenced due to significant amount involved and vulnerability of the workers.26
  • Primo takes an advertisement in the Newcastle Herald defending its employment practices.30
    • claims never knowingly incorrectly paid a worker.30
    • less than half of Primo’s workforce were on 417 Visa’s.30
  • AMIEU claims Primo supplied personal information of employees to Colonial First State  Super without written authority from the workers.42
  • AMIEU status of industrial bargaining – Workers have voted to take protected action.42
  • AMIEU believes another 23 Scone workers have been underpaid.31
  • April. Hunter Valley Quality Meats Pty Ltd T/A Primo Australia Scone Abattoir Enterprise Agreement 2014.33
  • June. Scone announces large expansion plans.35
    • Currently employs about 600 people.35
      • expects to increase employees by 100 people.35
    • Processing 6 days a week.35
      • 1,000 head a day on a double shift.35
    • Expansion will include .35
      • extension of plate freezer capacity to 70,000 cartons.35
      • reconfiguration of works.35
      • extension of load out facility.35
    • $40M project expected to start in August and take 14 months.35
    • Plans are currently submitted to the NSW department of planning.35
      • plans have been worked on for last 18 months.35
  • Other abattoirs in the region that were export licensed.40
  • Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) predict looming shortage of cattle and a robust global demand for beef into 2015.40
  • By June 2015 the Australian cattle herd was forecast to have fallen to 26.1M head, the lowest level in 2 decades.40
    • Expansives and severe drought has had significant impact on cattle production regions.40
    • sustained high levels of cattle slaughter and near record live cattle shipments have eroded production capacity.40
  • Scone is currently sourcing 75% of the cattle are from producers within 500km of Scone.35
  • 60% of the beef production is exported to about 50 countries.35
  • Chinese demand is encouraging, but also Middle East, Asian markets and Japan.36
  • producers in the area have been calling for more processing plants for several years.36
  • July.Primo consider taking in more Filipino workers to fill vacancies via the 457 visa programme.39
    • Primo already has 20 primary 457 visa holders that receive sponsorship.39
    • Join some 600 Australian and multicultural workers in the company.39
    • Under 457 sponsorship a minimum of 3 years experience is required for onshore meat workers or minimum 9 months training.39
  • JBS Australia purchase majority shareholding in NSW based Andrew Meat.37
    • specialise in high quality, portion cutting and further processing of meats for domestic and international restaurant and foodservice customers.37
    • produce ready-cooked meals.37
    • company banner Creative Food Solutions.37
    • Andrew Meat will allow JBS expansion into high growth retail and value-adding segments.37
  • Expansion of the Andrew Meats business will start in November .38
    • JBS global strategy to expand into value added meat protein – opportunity to expand margins.38
    • JBS have an existing value-added division – Food Partners.38
      • supplies food service customers like Pizza Hut and Domino’s with toppings.38

Andrew meats logo

Andrews Meat Industries logo Source Beef Central 27.11.2014

  • Andrew Meats focus will be produce ready meals.38
    • ‘grab & go’ beef roasts, designed to compete head on with hot cabinet roast chickens sold in supermarkets.38
    • Domestic markets were very immature but also with significant growth potential.38
  • At this time JBS operate.37
    • 10 processing facilities.37
      • Daily processing capacity of more than 8,000 cattle and 21,000 small stock.37
    • 5 feedlots.37
  • September Senator John Williams visits Scone abattoir at this point, it employs upwards of 700 people, plus ancillary positions.41
  • November 21. JBS Australia sign a A$1.45B conditional agreement to acquire Primo Group.2
    • Primo Group currently consist of –
      • Brand – Primo Smallgoods.2
      • Brand  – Hans.2
      • Brand  – Beehive.2
      • Brand – Hunter Valley Quality meats.67
      • Brand – Primo Quality Meats.67

Beef Central 27.11.2014. Hunter logo

Hunter Valley Quality Meats Logo Source  Beef Central 27.11.2014

  • 5 key abattoir, processing plants and distribution centres operating across Australia and New Zealand.2
    • Scone abattoir
    • Port Wakefield Pig abattoir
    • Chullora (Sydney) meat processing.52
    • Wacol (QLD) – Australia’s largest food processing facility.52
    • Carterton facility located New Zealand.67
    • 7 distribution centres.67
    • 37 retail outlets NSW Joes’s meat market and Farm fresh, are included in the sale.67
  • employ 3,000 people.2
    • Agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals.2
      • As Primo is already 70% owned by an Asian fund Manager – essentially the deal is a sale from one foreign owner to another.44
  • JBS take over is consistent with the global strategy of Brazilian parent company JBS SA to grow its presence in value-added products.45
    • move closer to the end consumer.52
    • JBS don’t plan to make any significant changes to the Primo group operations for the forseeable future.52
    • Scone will be run under JBS’s southern program.67
    • remainder Primo group will be run as a stand alone business with 3,700 employees.67
  • Scone has greatly expanded its MSA kill in recent years.44
    • has brand names established.44
    • is located a large distance from other JBS plants.44

Beef central 27.11.2014.c

Freezer rooms in Scone abattoir Source Beef Central 27.11.2014

  • JBS is the the world’s largest processor of fresh meats.44
    • JBS takeover of Primo is the first major move of the red meat processor into the pork sector.45
    • JBS’s largest acquisition since Tasman Group.44
  • Australia’s cured meats and smallgoods markets worth $3B.46
    • most smallgoods manufacturing concentrated on the east coast.46
    • Industry has been plaqued by low profitability and volatile conditions that have contributed to significant consolidation over the past 5 years.46
    • Super market home Brands, Primo and Don have limited opportunity for growth in Australia.46
    • Pork production has a higher and faster protein conversion ratio than beef or sheep and may offer opportunities for high volume throughput and increased value adding.46
  • AMIEU is concerned Scone abattoir will increase reliance on overseas workers.47
    • AMIEU estimate only 140-150 of the current 500 workforce at Scone are local.47
    • 2,500 jobs have been lost in the Hunter region recently due to the Mining downturn.47
    • employers are seeking to engage 457 workers even when locals are unemployed.47
  • New Trade deal with China allows Chinese workers access through ‘investment facilitation arrangement’
  • Producers are concerned that the addition of 2 more abattoirs to the already powerful JBS network  will further reduce processing competition options.52
    • Primo takeover follows other mergers.52
      • Teys and Cargill – 6 abattoirs in NSW, QLD & SA.52
      • Sale of Country Fresh Australia’s NSW and QLD plants to Thomas Food International.52
      • recent smaller meatwork closures.52
    • Producers are concerned about the loss of independent kill options.52
      • Scone doesn’t provide service kill any more.52
        • Kills predominently for Coles.52
    • Concerned that the meat industry is moving to duopoly similar to the supermarkets.52
  • Producer experience of competition between abattoirs.70
    • “The efficent operation of an abattoir is 800-1,000km radius. Re the proposed acquisition of Scone abattoir by JBS. JBS own Dinmore. JBS will close Scone to improve economies of scale. If Scone closes; 40-60 dollars per head increased cost of transport for producers. Yet the ACCC has found that the Scone acquisition will not affect competition! But since July Primo at Scone was pulling cattle from up to 1,600kms. Jan 2015 Primo was paying $3.80 but JBS was paying $3.10. Primo was an important counter to JBS power” NSW Farmer.70
  • Speculation that JBS may on sell the Scone abattoir.52
    • JBS adament they will keep the abattoirs and invest in them
  • December.Beef industry participants call for declaration of the Upper Hunter region to be recongnised as a Critical Industry Cluster (CIC).53
    • acknowledgement of the importance of the local beef industry in that region.53
      • Thoroughbred and wine industry have developed CIC status’s.53
  • JBS envisage that Scone abattoir will become focal point for expanding JBS ‘Great Southern grassfed’ beef brand.54
    • opportunity to engage producers.54
    • Tasmania and Victorian producers receive premium prices for cattle that meet specific production and quality criteria.54
  • Port Wakefield abattoir is expected to be extended.54
  • NSW butcher shops will possibly be sold.54
  • Due to regulatory procedures JBS would not take over Primo and Scone abattoir until January or February.55
    • JBS wants to keep open communication with Scone public.55
      • intention to hire local employees and only others when necessary.55
      • 100 job increase announcement was decision of Primo but was consistent with JBS strategy to invest and grow in the region.55
  • JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states67
    • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)67
    • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities67
      • Employs 12,000 people in Australia67
    • Total revenue of $6.5B67

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)67
    • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%67
    • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
  • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 201467

2015

  • January. MLA forecast.78
    • Australian cattle herd has gone from 35 year high (2013) to 20 year low (2015).78
    • Australian cattle herd slip to 26.8M head by June 2015.78
      • by 2016 expected decline to 26.5M head.78
      • by 2020 27.9M head.78
    • Adult cattle slaughter expected to slump 15% year on year.78
      • 2015 to 7.8M head.78
      • 2020 expected 7.9M slaughter.78
    • Long term Female average in 2014 52%.78
      • Normally female kill percentage 47%.78
      • Only in years 1977, 1998 & 2003 has female kill been above 50%.78
    • Beef exports record levels in 2014 1.39M tonnes shipped weight.78
      • Expected to drop 20% to 1.3M tonnes in 2015.78
  • Labour Hire Company – Raying Holdings is found guilty of breaches of Fair Work Act.56
    • Fined for underpayment of 10 international workers $41,647.56
    • payments have been rectified.56
    • Raying Holdings has gone into liquidation.56
      • further 30 workers who are owed $150,000 would not receive payments due to the liquidation of Raying Holdings.56
  • Labour Hire person Zu Neng Shi also fined.56
  • Labour Hire company – New Bridge Trading, who also supplied Primo employees was being pursued in Federal court for owing 19 international workers $123,000.56
  • AMIEU claim workers at Scone have been underpaid for the last 3 years.56
  • Scone Primo supported action of Fair work Ombusdmen.56
  • February. ACCC will not oppose JBS’s proposed acquisition of Primo Food Group.57
    • ACCC received various submissions from a range of interested parties.57
      • Most expressing concern that the acquisition would result in less competition in the market for slaughter cattle in Northern NSW and QLD.57
    • ACCC determined that Primo were not a currently strong competitive constraint.57
    • JBS would continue to be constrained in the market due to alternative abattoirs and supermarkets.57
      • JBS’s other abattoirs were more than 500km from Scone.57
    • ACCC wary of the potential impact of further consolidation of abattoirs.57
      • Attached conditions to the sale.61
        • Scone abattoir must remain open and retain its capacity for consignment killings accesible by third parties.61
          • If JBS fail to do so the Treasurer has the power to order the company to divest itself of the meatworks.61
        • That JBS report to the Foreign Investment review board on its compliance every 6 months.61
        • Transaction is to be reviewed in 3 years time.61

Scone location

Approximate radius of 500km from Scone abattoir

Further mapping of current and historical Australian abattoirs can be viewed at
Australian Abattoirs google maps

  • NSW Senator John Williams says ACCC move was very disappointing and indicates ACCC is out of touch with reality.58
    • Cattle can easily be transported hundreds even thousands of kilometres.66
    • Requested Federal Parliament to update the competition laws.64
      • Current test for take-overs by ACCC are not tough enough.64
      • ‘Creeping acquitsitions’ occurs and is allowable.64
        • could lead to monopolies.64
    • ACCC made a decision that there’s not a ‘substantial’ reduction in comptetiveness of the beef market.65
  • Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says conditions of the sale would ensure local cattle producers have certainty of access for contract processing.62
    • confusion surrounds interpretation of phrase ‘service kill’.63
      • some view as obligation that JBS provide service kill to others at Scone.63
    • Scone abattoir has for some time conducted a single service kill – Coles.63
    • Clarification by the Minister – Whatever arrangement that Scone facility had in place at the time of the sale is to remain.63
      • If Scone only had one contract and didn’t as a policy do others then they would not be forced to do more.63
      • would be expected to maintain custom killings in both a competitive and profitable manner.64
      • Minister acknowledged there were calls for stricter controls.63
        • warned chance that may have gotten less.63
  • Scone abattoir supervisor is sentenced after pleading guilty of aggrevated indecent assault.59
  • March. Finalisation of the sale of Primo Smallgoods to JBS Australia Pty Ltd.2
    • JBS has 100% share capital of Primo Group.67
      • Anticipates annual revenue from the Primo Business A$1.6B.67
      • annual pre-tax earnings A$150M.67
  • JBS operate as 2 divisions.4
    • Southern division.4
      • Processing sheep, goats, pigs and cattle.4
      • capacity combined process 110,000 small stock and 9,500 cattle per week.4
      • employs 2,500 people.4
      • Area having access to almost unlimited market access to worldwide meat and offal export markets.4
    • Northern division.4
      • 5 operating facilities.4
      • processes 1.4M cattle a annually.4
      • Employs 4,300 people.4
    • JBS also operated 5 feedlots.4
      • One time feeding capacity of 150,000 head of cattle.4
      • Annual turnoff of 330,000.4
  • Foreign ownership of Australian red meat processing facilities.
  • Nippon share_edited-1

    Share of Australian red meat processing

    Source The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015

  • Farmers rally is held at Barnawartha (Near Albury/Wodonga, Victoria) following February 17 saleyard boycott.60
    • Concerns over processing market competition.60
    • Lack of competition as two other abattoirs are currently shut down due to Cyclone Marcia damage in February 2015.89
  • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country67
  • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA67
    • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour67
    • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA67
      1. Government regulation
        • $10 a head more in Australia67
        • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification67
          • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M67
          • JBS contribute $14.5M67
        • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs67
          • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level67
        • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors67
      2. Energy Costs
        • $15 a head more in Australia67
    • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs67
      • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets67
        • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts67
    • July. The following charts are from a submission by the Australian government Department of Agriculture to the Senate rural and regional affairs and transport references committee inquiry into Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector.

NSW abattoir capacities Dept ag consolidation_edited-1

  • Capacity of major beef abattoirs in NSW. 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

  • August. AMIEU found workplace conditions improved since JBS had taken over Primo.71
    • Local people are being employed ahead of foreign ones.71
  • September. Scone abattoir expansion plans require further explanation to the Department of Planning.72
    • JBS aim to more than double its kill to more than 55,000 units per week.72
    • beef boning room will be modified.72
    • new stock slaughter floor.72
    • Extra cold storage.72
    • Challenges in regards to environmental obligations, noise and vibration abatement, including odour impact on and off the site.72
    • Planning authorities have asked for wastewater and irrigation management plans.72
    • JBS have been told to consider local housing affordability to accommodate the increased workforce including demand on community services.72
  • December. ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.15
    • 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.15
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.15
  • JBS Holdco Australia Pty Ltd produced Total Income $4,040,948,610.15
    • Taxable Income $419,882,525.15
      • Tax Payable $44,809,334.15
  • JBS receive approval for upgrades to failed treatment pond currently at the Scone site.73
    • JBS have spent $3.5M in the last 4 and a half months to rectify issues at Scone.73
    • there are 3 existing anaerobic ponds, 2 need to be taken off line as they are full of sludge.73
    • Development involves establishment ov 100m x 50m burrow pit above existing clean water.73
    • JBS spoke to citizens at a small forum for local residents.73
  • Council approve application 131/2015, received 27/10/2015 to upgrade the existing pond facility at Scone abattoir.74

2016

  • January. Scone abattoir scales back operations.76
    • 155 workers, including 15 permanent local employees are expected to lose their jobs.76
    • moved from double to single shift.76
    • Various market factors have affected production.76
      • Australian livestock supply experiences a dip.76
      • job losses were expected across the board.76
    • JBS’s other plants at Dinmore and Rockhampton had been dropping shifts late in 2015 and were scheduled to shut 18/12/2015, staying closed for 5 weeks over the christmas period – 3 weeks more than usual.90
  • AMIEU would fight to protect the jobs of local workers.76
    • AMIEU requested  that permanent residents be given obvious preference.76
  • MLA forecast beef production to drop to 25.9M head in 2017.78
    • lowest in 24 years.78
    • Numbers had been forced down by drought.78
    • higher production with record turnoff to slaughter and live export.78
  • Rather than trying to maintain throughput at all costs, processors are making commercial decisions to wind back kills to match available supply.91
  • Some processors have scheduled ‘dark days’  – facilities will only slaughter on 2-3 days a week.91

 

 

Sources Scone (NSW)  – JBS

  1. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  2. www.primosmallgoods.com.au. Accessed 28.01.2016
  3. APC Action Plan 2010-2015
  4. www.jbssa.com.au
  5. ‘5,000 jobs at risk: Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald 21.05.1996
  6. ‘Fears for sight’ www.ammonia.com.au 23.12.2003
  7. ‘Recent beef production and management system trends in NSW’ NSW DPI 01.01.2006
  8. 2006 Top 25.
  9. ‘$15M abattoir fire devastates employer’ The Advertiser 24.02.2007
  10. 2007-top-25-processors
  11. http://mcinnescontracting.com.au/projects-before-and-after/
  12. NSW Parliament Questions 17.06.2008
  13. HACCP compliance September 2010
  14. ‘Abattoir worker dies after freezer roof collapses’ SMH 06.04.2011
  15. ‘Visiting worker dies at Primo Scone’ Newcastle Herald 06.07.2012
  16. Hunter Quality meats trademark details 12.09.2012
  17. ‘Closed Coonabarabran abattoir up for sale’ Northern Daily Leader 13.11.2012
  18. ‘Primo abattoir fined for gas fire’ The Herald 11.10.2013
  19. ‘IRC fines Primo Australia Scone abattoir for gas fire’ Tradesmonitor. 09.12.2013
  20. ‘Strike action at Scone abattoir’ Newcastle Herald 17.12.2013
  21. ‘Lederer given red card over Wanderer’s move’ Newcastle Herald 03.01.2014
  22. ‘Speculation of Wanderer’s sale premature, says chairman’ www.accessnews.com.au 14.01.2014
  23. ‘Working holiday visa workers being ripped off and harassed’ ABC 06.03.2014
  24. ‘Union alleges meatworkers underpaid’ The Land 07.03.2014
  25. ‘Court action over underpaid meatworkers’ Good Fruit & Vegetables 13.03.2014
  26. ‘Fair work cracks down on alleged underpayment of 10 abattoir workers’ www.smartcompany.com.au 13.03.2014
  27. ‘Primo abattoir embroiled in $41K underpayment case’ http://www.foodmag.com.au 13.03.2014
  28. ‘Court action over underpaid meatworkers’ www.farmonline.com.au 13.03.2014
  29. ‘Primo puts case in ad’ Newcastle Herald 21.03.2014
  30. ‘Meat firm puts case’ Newcastle Herald 22.03.2014
  31. ‘Abuse of holiday workers reaches Parliament’ AMIEU 24.03.2014
  32. Enterprise Bargaining agreement April 2014
  33. ‘Primo to expand’ Scone Advocate 26.06.2014
  34. ‘Forty million dollar Scone abattoir upgrade’ ABC rural 04.07.2014
  35. ‘JBS takes stake in Andrews Meat’ www.farmonline.com.au 09.07.2014
  36. ‘What’s behind JBS taking a big stake in Andrews Meat Value adding Businnes? Beef Central 10.07.2014
  37. ‘Pinoys take on abattoir jobs’ kalatas.com.au 12.07.2014
  38. ‘Scone’s Primo abattoir to get $40M upgrade’ Maitland Mercury 21.07.2014
  39. Senator John Williams Speech 30.09.2014
  40. AMIEU Meatworkers Journal Vol #69 Oct 2013. March 2014
  41. ‘Primo group sold to JBS for $1.45B’ Singleton Argus 21.11.2014
  42. ‘JBS to buy Primo in $1.45B deal’ Beef Central 21.11.2014
  43. ‘Bringing home the bacon: JBS buys Primo’ The Land 21.11.2014
  44. Brazil’s JBS buys Primo Smallgoods’ www.ausfoodnews.com.au 24.11.2014
  45. ‘Meatworkers union worried about reliance on overseas workers’ ABC News 25.11.2014
  46. ‘$1.45B Primo acquisition part of JBS’s big picture value-added strategy’ Beef Central 27.11.2014
  47. ‘Scone abattoir expansion’ ABC Rural 27.11.2014
  48. ‘Scone abattoir announces 100 new jobs’ ABC Rural 27.11.2014
  49. ‘Primo buyout raises concerns’ Stock Journal 28.11.2014
  50. ‘Call for critical industry cluster to protect Upper Hunter Beef Industry’ ABC News 02.12.2014
  51. ‘JBS reveals it’s market appetite’ The Land
  52. ‘JBS emphasises local commitment’ Scone Advocate 04.12.2014
  53. ‘Workers unpaid as labor hire company folds’ Newcastle Herald 19.01.2015
  54. ‘ACCC won’t oppose JBS’s acquisition of Primo’ Beef Central 06.02.2015
  55. ‘NSW Senator John Williams hits ACCC over Primo takeover’ Weekly Times 10.02.2015
  56. ‘Scone abattoir supervisor sentenced over assault’ ABC News 27.02.2015
  57. ‘Producers call for a fair go’ www.farmonline.com.au 02.03.2015
  58. ‘Joyce welcomes conditions on JBS/Primo FIRB approval’ Barnaby Joyce media release 04.03.2015
  59. ‘Hockey approves JBS take-over’ The Land 04.03.2015
  60. ‘Hockey approves JBS’s Primo buy, but with strings attached’ Beef Central 05.03.2015
  61. ‘Primo sale approved, with protections to ensure Scone abattoir stays open’ ABC News 05.03.2015
  62. ‘Primo sale highlights need for competition…’ ABC Rural 06.03.2015
  63. ‘Sale of Primo to JBS disappointing: Senator John Williams’ www.deluxecafemoree.com.
  64. ‘JBS concludes $1.45b Primo deal’ Beef Central 30.03.2015
  65. “JBS imports new boss for Primo’ The Land 31.03.2015
  66. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  67. sub45_WangarattaVFF 28.06.2015
  68. ‘Union officials contend Scone abattoir sell off a boost for internal workers’ www.myexpress.com.au 08.08.2015
  69. ‘Scone abattoirasked for more information on expansion plans’ ABC Rural 25.09.2015
  70. ‘JBS lodges DA to fix ‘legacy’ issues at Scone abattoir’ Scone Advocate 09.12.2015
  71. council approval for works Dec 2015
  72. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  73. ‘Jobs to go at Scone abattoir’ ABC News 27.01.2016
  74. ABARES foreign ownership 2011
  75. ‘MLA forecasts beef market adjustment’ The Land 27.01.2015
  76. ‘Slow season opening for processors’ Beef Central 11.01.2012
  77. ‘Caualties emerging as export kill pressure continues’ Beef Central 25.07.2011
  78. ‘Hunters meat axe’ Newcastle Herald 15.05.1999
  79. ‘TAFE signs deal with Scone abattoir’ Newcastle Herald 27.08.2002
  80. ‘Abattoir to beef up it’s numbers’ Newcastle Herald 30.04.2003
  81. ‘Feedlot future has abattoir concerned’ ABC News 16.04.2004
  82. ‘Primo accused over foreign pork’ Sydney Morning Herald 20.02.2008
  83. ‘Improperly labelled pork sparks probe’ Sydney Morning Herald 20.02.2008
  84. ‘Taiwanese meatworkers in Scone underpaid, encouraged not to pay tax, says union’ ABC News 07.03.2014
  85. ‘Big beef producer cuts deal with Tasman Group’ The Age 06.03.2008
  86. ‘Teys Australia abattoir kills for the first time since Cyclone Marcia’ ABC Rural 06.03.2015
  87. ‘JBS shuts north ALD plant several weeks early, extends closure of other plants as cattle supply dries up’ ABC Rural 26.11.2015
  88. ‘Weekly kill, Processors dropping shifts in preference to chasing cattle at a loss’ Beef Central 27.01.2016

Rockhampton – JBS

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #384 – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Rockhampton).3
    • registered as a Beef, Offal export facility.3
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au

Location   


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • A1

Operation   

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #384 – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Rockhampton).3
    • registered as a Beef, Offal export facility.3
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au

Other historical and current meat processing facilities located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

History of Rockhampton #170

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.9
    • 27 have some level of foreign ownership.9
    • Ownership dominated by Japan, UK and the US.9

2005

  • Significant regions of drought across QLD.

QLD Drought 2003_2005_edited-1

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

2007_2009_edited-1

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

2010

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.11
    • affected slaughter numbers to abattoirs.11
  • July.National slaughter rates decline 5%.12
    • Australian currency pressures.12
      • A$ is now above US108c.12
      • economic news out of US could send currency even higher.12
      • higher A$ would cripple Australia’s already limited price competitiveness for beef in international markets.12
    • QLD which does approximately half of Australia’s processing capacity.12
      • Down 8% from the previous week.12
      • lowest kill recorded in QLD in July for past decade.12
      • Down 21% on same period last year.12
      • Significant number of QLD plants only killing 3-4 days.12
    • listless export beef demand.12
    • Meat processing and export is low-margin business due to.12
      • Import duties.12
        • Indonesia 9%.12
        • Korea 40%.12
        • Japan 38%.12
      • New AQIS charges on meat inspection would add millions to processor costs.12
    • Is currently a big build up of meat in cold stores due to difficulty in selling into sluggish markets, Japan and the US.12

7. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

Red Meat throughput Australian abattoirs, Foreign and Australian owned 2011 Source ABARES foreign ownership 2011 Pg 29

2013

  • November. JBS Swift Australia install closed-circuit television camera’s (CCTV) in it’s Australian meatworks.6
    • For the purpose of animal welfare and meatworker safety issues.6
    • CCTV for internal use by only JBS, with no plans to allow outsiders to view the footage.6
  • JBS’s US beef division (which includes Australia) delivered drop in net sales and earnings in it’s third quarter financial results.7
    • 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.7
    • Earnings before tax $134M,.7
      • Down by 22.5% on previous quarter.7
      • Down by 28.4% on third quarter last year.7
    • result reflection of domestic North American markets.7
      • Improved performance had occured in Australian.7
        • Demand had increased in Chinese markets.7

2014

  • July. JBS Australia purchase majority shareholding in NSW based Andrew Meat.5
    • specialise in high quality, portion cutting and further processing of meats for domestic and international restaurant and foodservice customers.5
    • produce ready-cooked meals.5
    • company banner Creative Food Solutions.5
    • Andrew Meat will allow JBS expansion into high growth retail and value-adding segments.5
  • Expansion of the Andrew Meats business will start in November .8
    • JBS global strategy to expand into value added meat protein – opportunity to expand margins.8
    • JBS have an existing value-added division – Food Partners.8
      • supplies food service customers like Pizza Hut and Domino’s with toppings.8
    • Andrew Meats focus will be produce ready meals.8
      • ‘grab & go’ beef roasts, designed to compete head on with hot cabinet roast chickens sold in supermarkets.8
      • Domestic markets were very immature but also with significant growth potential.8
  • At this time JBS operate.5
    • 10 processing facilities.5
      • Daily processing capacity of more than 8,000 cattle and 21,000 small stock.5
    • 5 feedlots.5
  • December. JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states1
    • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)1
    • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities1
      • Employs 12,000 people in Australia1
    • Total revenue of $6.5B1
  • 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)1
      • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%1
      • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
    • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 20141

    2015

    • January. MLA forecast.10
      • Australian cattle herd has gone from 35 year high (2013) to 20 year low (2015).10
      • Australian cattle herd slip to 26.8M head by June 2015.10
        • by 2016 expected decline to 26.5M head.10
        • by 2020 27.9M head.10
      • Adult cattle slaughter expected to slump 15% year on year.10
        • 2015 to 7.8M head.10
        • 2020 expected 7.9M slaughter.10
      • Long term Female average in 2014 52%.10
        • Normally female kill percentage 47%.10
        • Only in years 1977, 1998 & 2003 has female kill been above 50%.10
      • Beef exports record levels in 2014 1.39M tonnes shipped weight.10
        • Expected to drop 20% to 1.3M tonnes in 2015.10
    • March. Foreign ownership of Australian red meat processing facilities
    • Nippon share_edited-1

      Share of Australian red meat processing

      Source The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015

  • March. Cyclone Marcia cross the Capricornia Coast some plants were damaged.70
    • Supply is exceeding capacity in QLD at this point.70

Cyclone Marcia Feb 2015_edited-1

Impact of Cyclone Marcia February 2015. www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

  • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country1
  • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA1
    • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour1
    • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA1
      1. Government regulation
        • $10 a head more in Australia1
        • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification1
          • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M1
          • JBS contribute $14.5M1
        • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs1
          • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level1
        • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors1
      2. Energy Costs
        • $15 a head more in Australia1
    • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs1
      • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets1
        • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts1

2013_2015_edited-1

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

Sources Rockhampton QLD. JBS

  1. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  2. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  3. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  4. ‘Big Beef producer cuts deal with Tasman group’ The Age 06.03.2008
  5. ‘JBS takes stake in Andrews Meat’ www.farmonline.com.au 09.07.2014
  6. ‘Swift CCTV camera action’ Weekly Times 13.11.2013
  7. ‘JBS delivers lower third quarter beef sales, revenue’ Beef Central 14.11.2013
  8. ‘What’s behind JBS taking a big stake in Andrews Meat Value adding Businnes? Beef Central 10.07.2014
  9. ABARES foreign ownership 2011
  10. ‘MLA forecasts beef market adjustment’ The Land 27.01.2015
  11. ‘Slow season opening for processors’ Beef Central 11.01.2012
  12. ‘Caualties emerging as export kill pressure continues’ Beef Central 25.07.2011

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

Wingham

Wingham abattoir is owned by NH Foods that specialises in the processing of British bred cattle, grass and grainfed into a number of high quality branded products.

Other Names

  • Wingham Beef Exports

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #154 – JWingham beef exports.51
    • registered as a Beef export facility.51
  • Direct employment enquiries to NH Foods

Location   

  • Wingham is located on NSW mid north coast, approximately 260km north of Sydney.

Aust. Wingham

Wingham 001

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Historical and current meatworks, canneries and abattoirs located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

Operation

  • Nippon currently own 3 abattoirs in Australia,
  • Wingham processes up to 800 head of grass fed and grainfed animals per day.11
    • 80% are British bred types
  • Developed two programs.11
    1. Wingham Gold MB1
    2. Wingham Golf MB2
  • Livestock are sourced from NSW and Northern Victoria.11
  • Wingham purchases stock directly from producers based on Weight at Works.11
    • Stock are delivered directly from the producer to the processing facility
      • reduces handling and mileage
  • Wingham also purchases from livestock markets in NSW and Victoria.11
  • Export makes up 70-80% of markets.11
    • To Japan, USA, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Russia, Chile, Europe, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Ukraine, Indonesia and Switzerland

Wingham logos._edited-2

Wingham Beef Exports Logo Source NH foods Wingham Beef exports

History of  Wingham meat processing facility.

1954

  • April. Taree and Wingham municipal councils meet to consider the establishment of a central killing yard (abattoir) at the current Wingham Bacon factory site that is in operation.7
    • Establishment of the central abattoir would ensure proper inspection of all meat which does not occur at present.7
    • Facility would be operated by the Master butchers and not the council.7
  • July. Establishment of an abattoir would be of great benefit to the beef and dairy industry who currently truck animals to metropolitan and Newcastle markets.8
  • Estimated cost of extensions to the Bacon factory to modernise £80,000 to £100,000.8
  • September. Directors of Manning Co-operative Bacon Society Ltd given the permission of shareholders to raise loans to £100,000.9
    • Proposal was to enter export beef trade.9
    • present factory would meet requirements until new facility is extended.9
    • Expect full operation 2-3 years.9
    • Killing price would need to be satisfactory.10
  • Current output was limited to Commonwealth inspection to fulfill military and naval contracts, or reach markets in the islands or overseas.10
  • Society did not possess a canning licence, thus denied participation in export sausages.10
  • Current bacon factory was having to bring pigs from Lismore and Casino to maintain supply.10
  • Dept. Agriculture and Minister for health had concerns about meat inspection and established centres at.10
    • Wagga
    • Dubbo and
    • Goulburn
    • No funding had been forth coming from the Federal Government to Wingham.10

1974

  • 15% of the abattoir workforce are laid off.22

1978

  • March. District is experiencing biggest flood this century.25
    • River at Taree was 18′ 18 1/4″ and rising.25
    • record floods occured in 1929 19′.25

1994

  • Nippon purchase Wingham (Pg 86).5
    • 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
  • When Nippon purchased Wingham, workers felt more secure in their jobs.22

1996

  • Up to half of NSW abattoirs could close with the loss of up to 5,000 jobs.1
  • Authors Note – Majority of live export cattle during this period would have been Bos Indicus or crosses to South East Asia markets, sourced from mainly northern Australia. Not animals suited to heavy slaughter in Australia and from herds whos’ production was not likely destined for abattoirs in NSW.

LE exports 1990_1998_edited-2Source – Live Cattle Exports. Australian Commodities Vol 5 #2 June 1998

 Chart showing the high volume of South East Asia live cattle export destinations period 1990 – 1998

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

  • September. Abattoir upgrade will be done in 3 stages over 6 years.16
    • Stage 1. extension to house 6 new side beef chillers.16
      • There are currently 7 chillers, some will be converted and used to include the new chillers
      • Chilling capacity will be 1,200 carcases a day
      • Boning room extension will be conducted
      • Construction of a 35ML storage pond
    • completion date March 2001.16

2003

  • Dairy Regional Assistance Program provided funding for improvements to infrastructure – $58M.14
    • Biggenden Meat Works Expansion  $208,230.
    • Casino Value Adding meat project   $801,724.
    • Midfield Meats Bull rearing and Processing plant $271,150
    • Nolan Meats Expansion and Value adding $1,595,000.
    • Scone abattoir expansion project $1,100,000.
    • Wingham abattoir project $990,000.
  • April. Wingham operate a rendering plant at Macksville that processes by products.11
    • Various items are offered for auction at the Macksville site.17

 

2008

  • June. Enterprise Bargaining Agreement EA08/20 is approved.13
    • Wingham Beef Exports  and AMIEU collective Agreement.13
    • Effective for 3 years.13

2009

  • AMIEU meet with major meat processors and the AMIC to seek public support to change the live animal export policy.40
    • Employers talked alot but did not commit to assisting the union to assist in campaigns to wind back live animal exports.40
    • AMIEU later joined with Animal welfare organisations to change Labour government position.40

2010

IBIS Jun 2010_edited-1

Major Companies in the Australian Red meat processing industry

Source IBIS world June 2010

2011

  • June. NSW experiences flash flooding in Clarence Valley, Upper Hunter, Bellingen Shire and Kempsey.19
    • Manning peaked at higher than expected level of 4.3m.19
  • August. Wingham conduct research assessing dewatered paunch waste co-combustion in boilers.20
  • Operation changes mean 86 casuals will be put off.21
    • 61 workers within the week and 25 jobs to be phased out.21
  • Wingham normally employs over 400 people.21
    • Largest employer in Wingham.21
    • Federal Government established a rapid response team to assist people to retrain and access support.21
  • Alot of people have careers developed through the facility.22
    • high focus on training.22

2012

  •  November. Australia’s negotiations with Korean beef export market need to be finalised.43
    • Korean Beef trade is worth $770M.43
    • Delays have stalled with Gillard insistance that an Investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in the agreement be excluded.43
    • Korea is Australia’s 3rd largest beef export market.43
      • 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.43
  • Australia’s market position would decline dramatically in 2013 to Korea if the EFT is not finalised soon.43
    • US beef has significant advantages over Australia.43
      • 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.43
      • 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

  • Wingham win 3 awards at the Royal Queensland Food and Wine show for its product – Manning Valley Naturally Beef.2
  • March. NSW coastal river valleys suffer heavy rainfall and flooding.23
    • Particularly areas around Wingham.23
    • Up to 190mm in one day.23

2014

  •  Nippon Meat Packers Pty Ltd changes name to NH Foods.44
  • Logo NH oakey exports_edited-1

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

 

  • February. Far West NSW  is suffering severe drought.24
  • April Frozen beef shipments to Russia are temporarily suspended from 07/04/2014.26
    • A similar suspension occurred 31/03/2014 for chilled beef.26
    • Temporary suspension of beef offal imports occurred 27/01/2014.26
  • Wingham exports meat to Russia, along with another 29 Australian establishments.26
    • Australia placed additional requirements on its testing requirements.26
    • Russia detected Trenbolone 21/03/2014.26
    • Australian authorities held an immediate meeting with Russian counterparts.26
      • providing details of testing and invited Russia to inspect Australian meat establishments.26
      • Trenbolone is not produced from cattle treated with HGP’s.26
      • Russia has a zero tolerance, most countries have a maximum residue limit.26
    • Russia placed new requirements of detection of Trenbolone.26
  • Russia may consider Asia, Chinese port and Indian buffalo meat imports to replace decrease is supplies from the US, European union and Australia.26
  • Australia has been a traditional beef exporter to Russia since the 1970’s.26
    • 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
  • Some workers rally in Wingham for a pay increase 17/04/2014.27
    • 300 workers striked.29
  • 24 hour strike started midnight by workers .28
    • 130 employees arrived for work, plant is in operation.27
    • 20 workers were striking at Wirrimbi, rending and cold storage facility near Macksville.28
    • Negotiations have been going on for several months in regards to EBA.27
    • Enterprise bargaining had been going on for 30 weeks.28
      • Eight months negotiating.29
    • Offer made to the unions in November 2013.28
    • Subsequent offer was made.28
      • common ground reached on many areas.27
        • except public holidays and overall wage increases.27
    • Workers want 5% increase for lowest paid workers in first year.27
      • 4% in each of the following 2 years.27
      • 80% of the workforce under lower pay agreement.27
      • Currently earn $17.20/hr.27
        • end of 3 years they would be paid $19/hr.27
          • Less than other export companies.27
      • Company had offered 9% increase last year but lose about 12% in offsets.27
        • removed payment of rostered days off.28
        • extend the ordinary working day.28
        • remove butcher’s picnic, which is a union picnic day.28
    • Boners, slicers and slaughtermen want 3.5% in first year.27
      • 3% in each of the following 2 years.27
  • Management of Wingham Beef Exports were continuing with negotations
    • entitlements that were to be traded for wage increases were ananchronistic.28
    • Modern working conditions are needed for the facility to be viable.28
  • Workers picketed 28/04/2014.30
  • May. Workers vote to continue with industrial dispute.31
  • Rolling stoppages – ban on overtime.33
    • Companies latest offer for lowest paid 4% first year.31
      • 3.5% second year
      • 3% third year
      • 3% fourth year
    • Highest paid workers to 3.25% first year.31
  • Ballot will be conducted 13/05/2014.31
  • June. Wage dispute is concluded, Ballot results.33
    • 175 workers voted yes – majority of 60%.33
    • 115 workers voted no.33
  • Lowest paid 13.5% wage increase over 4 years.33
  • Highest paid 12.25%.33
  • Wages would be effective from 29/06/2014 if accepted by the Fair Work Commission.33
  • Industrial action and overtime bans would now be lifted allowing full capacity production.33
    • current backlog of supply of cattle.33
  • Large percentage of product is HGP free2
  • China demand is increasing for forequarter and hindquarter2
    • including loin cuts, bones2
    • China buying quarters to process further once product is in China.2
    • Chinese meat processing plants are currently ruuning at 30 below capacity or less3
    • Note – other reports say China’s current processing capacity is only operating at 20-30%
      • Currently state-of-the-art plants in China with Germon technology just closed up
      • Quartered carcases offer an opportunity to better utilise their facilities3
      • By-passes costs in Australia by as much as 30%3
      • Australian processes are mainly configured for boxed packaging3
      • China was currently limited to frozen exports, chilled sales been suspended since September 2013 due to review of import protocols and health certifications3
  • Wingham is processing 600-650 cattle per day2
  • Very high cow kill numbers being currently processed are response to dry conditions2
    • likely to reduce in the coming year2
  • Construction and Infrastructure improvements $6M.39
  • Stage 1 – Truck access and turning area.39
  • Stage 2 Demolition of existing freezer area and construction of new plate freezing and packaging system.39
    • Expected completion June 2015
  • Stage 3 Construction of new cold storage and loading facility.39
    • Final completion expected September 2015
  • All construction will take place with fully operational facility allowing truck and pedestrian movement.39

 

  • July. Australia is on the verge of finalising a FTA with Japan.34
    • 97% of exporters set to get preferential treatment or be duty free.34
    • Japan’s standard 38.5% tariff on frozen beef will be cut to 19.5%.34
    • Fresh beef exports tariff will drop to 23.5% over the next 15 years.34
    • Beef Offal, worth $167M will also have reduced tariff and increased quota.34
  • Korea-Australia Free trade agreement enters into force 12/12/2014.45
    • Initially an immediate cut to some tariffs with a further cut 01/01/2015.45

 

  • December. construction will commence this month freezer facility at Wingham.36
    • more efficent plate freezing equipment will be used.36
    • quieter, cleaner and with significantly reduced environmental impact.36
    • will triple the plant’s holding capacity.36
    • provide better working conditions in the loadout area.36

Manning river_edited-1
Artist impression of the Freezer facility upgrades at Wingham Beef Exports. Source Manning River Times.

 

  • Branded product – Manning Valley Naturally is exported to Japan, USA, China, Korea and some domestic major supermarkets.36

Wingham logos._edited-1

Manning Valley Naturally – Wingham Beef Exports.

 2015

  •  January. MLA forecast.50
  • Australian cattle herd has gone from 35 year high (2013) to 20 year low (2015).50
  • 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.50
      • 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.50
    • Expected to drop 20% to 1.3M tonnes in 2015
  • March. Wingham currently employs 480 workers.37
  • Wingham is operating under Thomas Borthwicks and Sons (Australia) Pty Ltd Enterprise Agreement 2011.37
  • Foreign ownership of Australian red meat processing facilities

Nippon share_edited-1

Share of Australian red meat processing

Source The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015

 

NSW abattoir capacities Dept ag consolidation_edited-1

Capacity of major beef abattoirs in NSW. 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

  • China current tariffs on Australian beef, sheep and goat meat, offal and hides amounts to $826M.49
    • Tariffs will be removed over the next 9 years.49
      • Add $270M a year to beef production.49
        • Flow to producers 8c/kg
      • Add $150M a year to sheep production.49
        • Flow to producers 13-26c/kg
    • NZ signed deal with China in 2008 and already 2 tariff reductions ahead of Australia, being tariff free end of 2016.49
  • China have interests in abattoirs in Australia and use Australian workers.49
  • Fear that the Chinese FTA could allow projects of investments of greater than $150M  to bring in workers with no market testing.49
    • Required to pay minimum Australian rates.49
  • December. American Trim market dropped significantly the last few months.46
    • some processors going into the red
  • Predicts Asian markets opportunities will emerge.46
    • 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

 

  • ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.47
    • 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.47
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.47
  • NH Foods produced Total Income $845,824.273.47
    • Nil taxable income and nil tax payable.47

 

  • AMIEU express concern that major meat processors in NSW have not challenged the current Turnball Governments advertising campaign supporting the FTA agreement with China and the Trans Pacific Partnership.40
    • Thomas Food International,
    • Wingham Beef Exports
    • Northern Co-operative meat company
    • Bindaree Beef
  • AMIEU had approached meat processors in 2009 to lobby to wind back live animal exports.40
  • China’s FTA agreement could mean 1M head live cattle.40
    • 1M head less cattle could mean 3,000 Australian meat workers out of work.40
    • China’s FTA will not deliver jobs to the processing sector.40

2016

  • January. KAFTA third round of tariff cuts occur 01/01/2016.48
    • Fresh, chilled and frozen beef has a current tariff 34.6%.48
      • 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 Wingham (NSW) meat processing facility.

  1. ‘5,000 jobs at risk: Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald 21.05.1996
  2. ‘Export demand grows for Wingham’s HGP – free beef’ QLD Country Life 26.06.2014
  3. ‘China’s hunger for Aussie beef’ QLD Country Life 26.06.2014
  4. ‘China live cattle exports a strong chance’ QLD Country life 26.06.2014
  5. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn.2014
  6. ‘Meat Processing in Australia’ IBIS World. June 2010
  7. ‘Want central abattoir at Wingham’ www.trove.nla.gov.au 02.04.1954
  8. ‘Meatworks proposed at Wingham’ www.trove.nla.gov.au 30.07.1954
  9. ‘Wingham abattoir loan authorised’ www.trove.nla.gov.au 24.09.1954
  10. ‘Wingham’s 100,000 pound Abattoir plan’ www.trove.nla.gov.au 24.09.1954
  11. NH foods Wingham Beef exports
  12. Australian Premium Brands. NH Foods
  13. Wingham Beef Export 2008 wages agreement
  14. Dairy Regional Assistance Program. Parliament. 04.02.2003
  15. www.cattlefacts.com.au 03.06.2008
  16. www.cordellconnect.com.au
  17. www.steers.com.au 30.04.2003
  18. NSW beef production trends 2006
  19. ‘NSW Flash flooding’ www.poleshift.ning.com 16.05.2011
  20. ‘Use of paunch waste as boiler fuel’ MLA August 2011
  21. ‘Wingham Beef Exports’ ABC News 15.08.2011
  22. ‘3 Generations notch up 214 years with Wingham abattoir’ Wingham Chronicle 04.04.2012
  23. ‘Yet more floods in NSW’ ABC Rural 04.03.2013
  24. ‘Emergency Drought Assistance package extended’ Manning River Times 12.02.2014
  25. ‘Throwback Thursday – 1978 Flood’ Manning River Times 20.02.2014
  26. ‘Update on Russia’s suspension on Australian beef’ Beef Central 03.04.2014
  27. Wingham Beef workers protest’ Manning River Times 17.04.2014
  28. ‘Hundreds of workers from the Wingham Beef abattoir west of Taree are on strike’ ABC News 17.04.2014
  29. ‘Mid North coast mental health nurses…..’ ABC News 28.04.2014
  30. ‘Wingham abattoir workers on strike’ AMIEU 30.04.2014
  31. ‘Wingham Beef export workers to vote on new pay offer next week’ ABC News 07.05.2014
  32. MLA MSA Licensed Plants 06.06.2014
  33. ‘Wingham Beef wage dispute resolved’ The Land 20.06.2014
  34. ‘Australia’s free trade agreement with Japan could see prices fall for consumers’ www.news.com 08.07.2014
  35. ‘Inland QLD and NSW communities face second driest year on record’ ABC News 19.11.2014
  36. ‘Industry-leading freezer for Wingham abattoir’ Manning river times 05.12.2014
  37. Teys submission to Productivity Inquiry. March 2015
  38. Dept Ag. Submission to Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector July 2015
  39. ‘Wingham Beef exports’ Total construction Sept 2015
  40. ‘No Livestock means no work’ AMIEU 21.12.2015
  41. www.winghambeefweek.com.au
  42. ‘Nippon Ham plans to invest $250M overseas’ www.asia.nikki.com
  43. ‘Korean beef trade under threat’ The Land 14.11.2012
  44. www.nh-foods.com.au. Name change
  45. Trade Minister Media release 03.12.2014
  46. ‘Mackay meatworks gets ready to compete….’ ABC Rural 17.12.2015
  47. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  48. ‘Korea cuts import tariffs further’ www.farmonline.com.au 01/01/2016
  49. ‘Meat producers call for ratification of the China free trade deal, while union delay over jobs’ ABC Rural 31.07.2015
  50. ‘MLA forecasts beef market adjustment’ The Land 27.01.2015
  51. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015

Rockhampton – Lakes Creek

There is a historical Lakes Creek abattoir and the current facility that Teys operate at Rockhampton. It is not clear if the two sites are the same location or one was dismantled and another built.

Other Names

  • Rockhampton abattoir – there is another facility in Rockhampton operated by JBS, Rockhampton (QLD – JBS)
  • Lakes Creek abattoir

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #7 – Teys Australia Meat Group Pty Ltd.45
    • registered as a Beef, Offal export facility.45
  • Direct employment enquiries to Teys Employment Information

Location   Owner

Teys Logo_edited-1Source http://www.teysaust.com.au. the Teys-Cargill Australia Logo

Operation

  • Teys operate 3 feedlots12
    • Jindalee (NSW)12
    • Condamine (QLD)12
    • Charlton (Vic)12
  • Hide Processing Facility in Murgon12
  • Value adding facilities12
    • Hemmant – Produces cooked deli smallgoods and convenience meals12
    • Wagga Wagga – produces case ready goods for retail12

For employment information go to  Teys Employment Information

Other historical and current meat processing facilities located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

 

History of Rockhampton – Lakes Creek #7

1871

  • The Lakes Creek abattoir was built.(Pg 261)15
    • Owned by an English company – Central Queensland Meat Export Company15
  • Operated as a cannery35
  • The plant was a dominent element in the regions economy40
    • at this time Lakes Creek was a company town40
    • meatworks built housing for its employees40

1872

  • Lakes Creek processes three quarters of all the sheep processed by Queensland canneries (Pg 39)35
  • Facility was heavily in debt due to mainly expenses associated with the Jone patent process (Pg 39)35
    • authors note – I have not found what this patent was but assume it was to do with the technology and process of canning meat.

1874

  • April. company was bankrupt35
  • Enforced closure of the facility due to the high price of cattle. (Pg 261)15
    • Remained idle until 187715

1877

  • Facility was purchased by liquidators of Whitehead & Co. (Pg 261)15
    • Proposal was to move boiling downs works that Whitehead’s owned from Laurel Bank to Lakes Creek.15
    • Whitehead & Co also owned a meatworks at Ramornie (NSW, near Grafton)15
    • Whitehead & Co had a contract to supply 2M lb of preserved meats to the French Government but had been unable to obtain sufficent cattle in NSW to fill the contract15

1880

  • Whitehead & co went into liquidation (Pg 261)15
    • closure was stated as not being the fault of the Lakes Creek operation itself15
  • A second Central QLD Meat Export Co. was formed and reopened the works (Pg 261)15

1883

  • A freezing plant was added (Pg 261)15
  • September this year the chambers were full of frozen meat for the pioneering enterprise of exporting frozen product on the Fiado. The Ship was late and a fire went through the facility15
    • Opportunity had been robbed of Lakes Creek the honour of sending the first consignment to Britian15
      • In 1884 the first cargo of frozen meat was loaded from Bowen but a cyclone stranded the vessel, destroyed the product and the Bowen works.(Pg 262)15
      • The first frozen consignments from Australia didn’t occur until 1896.15
    • 200 employees were out of work15

1884

  • Works resumed operations (Pg 261)15

1885

  • Company went into liquidation (Pg 261)15
    • Due mainly to the expense of rebuilding and installing imported plant equipment15

1886

  • Melbourne Syndicate took the facility over (Pg 261)15
    • Andrew Rowan, George Fairbairn and John Living15

1901

  • Facility was purchased by a company formed in London (Pg 261)15

1910’s

  • Tinned beef was a staple ration for war soldiers in WWI40
    • accompanied by hard tack biscuits40
    • Bully Beef – corruption of the French name “bouilli” meaning boiled or corned, referenced to small hard grains of salt used to preserve the meat40
  • Rockhampton produced various tinned labels – Herford, Devon (not the  pork based luncheon meat of that name) and Hamper40
    • including frozen sides meat for export and domestic butcher shops40
  • All parts of the animal were used40
    • what was not edible was processed into fertiliser and by-products40

1918

  • Major flood year

1928

  • Facility was idle due to the strain of the post war depression (Pg 261)15
    • meat market was very dull15
  • Facility then went to a syndicate headed by Sir William Angliss and FJ Walker (Pg 261)15
    • Operated under their control until 193415

1934

  • Vesteys, British based but international organisation purchased Lakes Creek. (Pg 261)15
  • Facility began to prosper due to the Empire preference granted under the Ottawa Agreement (pg 261)15
    • The Imperial Preference was a series of bilateral agreements of limited tarriffs within the British Empire but higher on goods from the rest of the world. Principal was based on “home producers first, empire producers second, and foreign producers last”16
  • Improved plant, chilling, freezing and processing facilities were established over the coming years.(Pg 261)15
  • By products were saved and processed(Pg 261)15

1938

  • Lakes Creek is paying 4/ per 100lb14
    • authors note – I think the / is shillings.
  • Northern Graziers are complaining of the high costs of freight and low price that Townsville abattoir is paying.14
    • They call for a public abattoir to be established and operated by the government in Townsville.1
      • To operated under the Abattoirs Bill that allowed government to acquire operate the Canon Hill facilities in Brisbane, enacted in 1934 (Pg 264)16

1946

  • Teys formed as a partnership of 4 brothers to process meat for wholesaling and retailing13

1949

  • Queensland herd was deminished due to demands of Australia feeding Allied forces in WWII40
  • Plans were being pushed to develope the channel country in the west and increase QLD’s beef-raising capacity40

1950’s

  • Canned meat, known as bully beef, tinned corn meat was being boxed and sealed on hands-on assembly lines40
    • refer Year 1910 for more info.

packing tinned meats._edited-1Source ‘Bully for our Beef exports’ The Courier Mail 17.07.2011 Workers packing corned beef into cartons at Lakes Creek meatworks

1954

  • February 3. Season commenced38
    • Ended December 1738
    • Flooding Between February 11 to 22 of Fitzroy river system38
    • Killing season 1954 constituted a record38
    • “Meat supplies were maintained but killing took place in the abattoir surrounded by water to a depth of 2 feet”41
  • Facility was undergoing extensive alterations and improvements to beef killing floor38
    • When completed the killing floor would be one of the most modern in Australia38
    • Handle greater throughput38
    • OH & S issues improved38
  • Pigs killed at the facility had also increased on 1953.38
  • Queensland cattle herds had recovered from dry conditions during most of 1951.38
    • Channel Country was underutilised due to lack of quick and commercial transport for cattle38
    • Cattle were grown out to large framed animals to withstand long walking distances38
      • These animals were not the preferred types for killing38
      • UL introduced – Baby Beef grade38
        • significantly effected  producers to turn off younger animals with lighter frame38

1958

  • Daily processing capacity 987 head of cattle. (Pg 261)15

1991

  • Major flood year

2001

  • Employed 1,350 people18
  • Currently the second largest abattoir in Australia18
  • December. CMG lock out workers to force them to accept wage cuts, a six day production schedule and unlimited overtime22
    • Meat workers were forced back to work under a federal award that was $320 in wage cut for some workers22

2002

  • January. Management refused to open works18
  • March 2. Protesters march through the CBD of Rockhampton in support of the 1350 workers who lost their jobs when the plant closed in mid January.24
    • AMIEU called for mass protest24
      • AMIEU demanding re-opening and reinstatement of the workers without massive cuts to pay and conditions.24
      • supported by the Construction, Mining & Energy , Forestry & Manufacturing workers  unions24
  • April. Lakes Creek abattoir is locked into a bitter dispute over pay and conditions between the now owner Consolidated Meat Group (Kerry Packer) and the Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Association.17
  • Facility will not be re-opening as early as planned17
  • May. Facility reopened but cut the workforce back to 70018
  • June. Plant was planned to be shut down entirely18
  • July 11. Workers begin a 5 day strike and re-establish a picket line outside the plant22
    • Strike is about production levels in the boning room and is part of a ongoing dispute of conditions of new work agreement22
  • July 30. Facility is offically closed.25
  • August. Negotiation had been occuring for an Enterprise bargain agreement for the last 8 months18
  • Consolidated Meat had come to agreement on Terms with Teys $1.2B joint venture to operate, Naracoote (SA), Beenleigh, Biloela and Innisfail (QLD)18
    • Deal to take effect in October18
    • Company had promised full severence pay but it would be at the lowest agreed rates18
    • Consolidated Meat had been awarded with $20M US Beef Quotas18
    • Governments Scheme based on 2001 rates, 40,000t known as the “Packer clause”18
      • Lakes Creek only produced 3,000t since June 200218
      • 2001 they had produced 49,000t18
      • quota flows into the merger entity18
      • Consolidated Meat will receive same quota in 2003 even though plant would be close.18
  • Abattoir is closed at this point in time 20/08/200219
    • It did open for short periods but had ongoing industrial disputes with protected industrial action begin taken19
    • Variety of owners of Lakes Creek plant had been unprofitable over the last decade19
  • ACCC investigate if merger of CMG and Teys would lead to reduced competition in terms of prices for cattle20
    • ACCC decide not to interven in proposed merger20
  • November. Jim Downey is appointed general manager at the plant21
    • Had been plant manager at Biloela21
    • Plant was still closed but undergoing major installations21
  • Drought was the single biggest factor now determining Lakes Creek operation21

2004

  • July. After nearly 2 years of being closed Lakes Creek re-opens25
    • 160 workers will start when the first kill takes place25
    • boning room will then begin employee numbers to be more than 300 in total25
      • Intention is to start with small production, settle the plant and make sure problems can be solved23
      • $1M in pay cheques will be injected into the community each month from the start up.23
    • Facility will gradually build towards a kill capacity of 2,500 head and employ 1,000 people.25
  • 6 weeks prior to opening Teys had been finalising plans to re-open and purchasing stock25
  • Profit margins for the processing sector currently as high as $150 a head25
    • Fallen due to a stronger Aussie dollar and the falling price of Japanese full sets.25
  • Originally the plant had been planned to open later in the year but successful negotiations with the AMIEU helped to bring the opening forward to July25
  • Re-opening was said not to be influenced by the risk of losing US export licences25
  • Lakes Creek had applied and received $660,000 – Under Regional Partnership grant.26
    • Assisted the facility to go back into business26
    • Funds were used to upgrade computer system and plumbing26
    • 2 other meatworks in the region, and operating didn’t receive the grant26
    • Labor criticised the Government for providing taxpayers money to a commercial venture that could give an unfair advantage26

2005

  • A shortage of skilled workers in Australia forces the company to look overseas29
    • People had been lost to the meatworks who have gone to the mining industry29
    • 60 vietnamese begin working at Lakes Creek29
    • Joining the 97 Brazilians already there29

2006

  • CMG implemented industry award27
    • Required to cut it’s 1,300 workers wages by 30% to remain competitive in the tightening beef export market27
    • CMG attempted to draw up new rosters that included27
      • night time and Saturday shifts without penalty rates27
        • Exceeded 38 hour cap27
    • Union workers voted against the new proposal and would only return to work on genuine award conditions.27

2009

  • December. Facility is considering job cuts over the next few weeks42
  • General Manager – Wasantha Mudannayake42
    • Reason for need to reduce jobs was livestock numbers had dropped due to overseas exports42
  • Biloela abattoir (QLD) – also owned and operated by Teys announced cutting of 40 foreign workers jobs42

2010

  • February.Tom Macquire – General Manager of corporate affairs for Teys Bros28
  • Lakes reopened after being closed for a short period following heavy rain.28
  • Currently employing 760 people28
  • Between April 2010 to February 2012 – Teys Employ 480 humanitarian refugees29
    • “Without humanitarian and skilled migrants Teys would find it very hard to continue production at sustainable levels at some sites, particularly in Rockhampton and Biloela”29
  • Since 1982 approximately 31 abattoirs have closed across Queensland30
    • Slaughter capacity had increased by 50%30
    • QLD meat processors forefront in adopting improved practices and technologies30
  • Last 2-3 years30
    • competition has come from restockers and live cattle exporters30
    • Lower export beef prices as a result of higher Australian dollar30
    • Export abattoirs have reduced throughput and cut shifts and the number of killing days.30
  • Major flood year

2011

  • July. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) don’t oppose Teys Bros & Cargill Beef Australia Merger42
    • View that the proposed merger would be unlikely to substantially lesson competition in any of the markets examined42
      • ‘fat’ cattle ready for slaughter42
      • acquisition of ‘feeder’ cattle destined for feedlots42
      • supply of processed beef to retailers and wholesalers42
  • Teys CEO – Brad Teys – says been 30 years since he’s seen cattle supply so tight44
    • Producer’s aren’t selling cattle44
      • due to poor prices44
        • forced the company to reduce kill days44
      • Rocky is working on 3 days a week kill44
  • September. Teys forms partnership with Cargill37
  • Federal Government Carbon tax legislation36
    • Creates a 2 tier system with those who generate more than 25,000 t of carbon each year to pay more36
      • Basic  costs would be $4 per head for all facilities36
    • Lakes Creek exceeds 25,000 threshold – would be liable to pay higher permit costs36
      • extra $2 head, adding up to extra $7M across Teys/Cargil enterprise.36
    • Abattoirs are energy-intensive business, Trade exposed, with export constituting majority of total production, narrow profit margins36
      • Carbon tax would disadvantage Australian facilities36
    • Government indicated there would be assistance for to introduce measures to reduce emissions to assit processors36

2012

  • Between April 2010 to February 2012 – Teys Employed 480 humanitarian refugees29
    • By February 306 were still actively employed29
  • December. AMIEU was investigating reports of working conditions of 100 workers who were part of the humanitarian program29

2013

  • March. Lakes Creek facility receives a grant from the Federal Government $4.17 for operational upgrades.31
    • Governments Clean Technology Food and Foundaries Investment Program31
    • Will assist Teys to improve competitiveness, local economy and environment.31
  • Upgrades begin of the waste water treatment plant39
    • involve building a new waste water treatment lagoons and installing a biogas boiler and handling equipment39
    • Methane emitted during the waste water treatment will be used to generate steam used at the facility39
    • reduce the facilities coal consumption by 30%39
    • Upgrade set to be completed by June 201539
    • Cost $16M39
  • Lakes Creek facility receives the Ministers Enterprise Award as part of the QLD state government’s annual Multicultural Awards for cultutal diversity10
    • Award recognises work and and volunteering efforts that develop strong, culturally diverse communities and promote awareness of the benefits of the cultural diversity in the state.10
  • Teys employed 4,500 across Australia10
    • Simply not enough local workers to operate the plants10
    • International workers were needed to fill the spaces10
  • In Rockhampton the mining boom left plants wth an employment shortfall10
    • Lakes Creek employs more than 1,000 people of 29 different nationalities10
    • Employ a significant number of humanitarian refugees and supports induction and training practices that assist new workers10
    • partnerships with settlement service providers and other groups in the community to employ and assist the workers.10

2014

  • June. Teys lobby government to repeal the Carbon tax11 Teys Media Release to repeal carbon tax
    • Manufacturers are closing down across the country due to unnecessary costs and charges on business” Tom Maguire Teys general manager of corporate affairs.11
    • countries Australia competes against do not have the burden of the carbon tax11
    • there is a direct link between the Carbon tax and competitiveness in the market place11
  • July. Rockhampton meatworks in the area employ more than 2,000 people1
    • Added more than $600M into the community1
  • Teys don’t support establishment of a live cattle export port at Port Alma (Rockhampton)1
  • Would be better for politicians to look at transport costs within Australia1.
    • currently costs $14M a year to rail product from Rockhampton and Biloela to the Port of Brisbane1
    • Development of a port at Rockhampton and Gladstone for shipment of containers would be better.1

unions 2012_edited-2Source The Bulletin. 01.12.2012

The Lakes Creek abattoir, Rockhampton. Queensland

2014

  • Teys is inducted into QLD business leaders hall of fame.32
  • Teys currently process 32,000 cattle per week across Australia32
    • Generates a turnover of $2.5B annually32

2015

  • February. Newly elected QLD Agriculture Minister – Bill Byrne said he “supported the live cattle trade under appropriate circumstances, but it would likely threaten the viability of the processors and value-adding of the local meat processing industry2
  • Cyclone Marcia hits Rockhampton 20/02/2015.3
    • 47,000 homes with no electricity3
    • Damage to buildings, bridges, destruction of crops and fencing.3
    • Flood levels were already high in Callide Valley and exacerbated by release of water from Callide Dam3
  • Lakes Creek abattoir suffers some minor damage to the roofing of the head office building3
  • Facility closed and wouldn’t likely operate for the rest of that week3
    • Plant and Equipment are OK3
    • most significant impact is no power, sewerage and water3
    • Until those services are restored the plant can’t operate3
    • Temporary amenities facilities had to be installed because of damage to existing ones9
  • Chilled and Frozen product was being maintained by generators3
  • Number of animals at the facility were getting water and fodder to ensure their welfare3
  • No kill occured on the day of the cyclone 20/02/2015 and wouldn’t for the rest of that week.4
  • Any cattle that were meant to be processed at Lakes Creek that week would be diverted to Biloela or Beenleigh.4
  • Cattle that had been at the plant at the time of the cyclone were returned to some producers at Teys cost5
    • Half were moved to other plants5
    • If the animals were stressed they would have lost weight and cut darker therefore Teys paid  a flat rate to the producers5
    • Temperatures climbed to 38 degrees with high humidity following the cyclone and some cattle suffered heat stress5
    • Heat stressed animals were not transported to care for their welfare5
  • Teys anticipate they would not be in the market for cattle all that week for Lakes Creek or Biloela4
  • Combination of their buying power not present in markets for the 3 abattoirs affected by the cyclone – Lakes Creek, Biloela and Rockhampton (JBS) accounted for 2,000 head per day4
  • Teys advise the plant will be closed longer than anticipated5
    • Many of the employees at the plant were overseas workers and not entitled to any government support5
    • Asbestos in exposed building material had slowed repairs at the site7
      • Asbestos was commonly used in older facilities7
      • Specialised workers wore plastic suits in 40 degree heat9
  • Facility likely to open 09/03/2015.6
  • Longreach cattle market sales had been cancelled due to the disruptions at the meatworks6
  • Markets still strong but there was congestion of cattle in the market6
  • QLD’s kill retracted to 75,275 head, down 7% as a direct consequence of the first weeks closure8
  • Where possible Teys was making forward payments to producers for cattle held up by the event9
  • Teys to restart the kill floor 18/03/2015 killing 1,000 head to increase to 1,6009

Brands_edited-1Source http://www.teysaust.com.au Product brand that are produced by Teys.

Sources Rockhampton – Lakes Creek #7

  1. ‘We’re not against live export but….’ QLD Country Life 17.07.2014
  2. ‘MP wary of live cattle trade at meatworks’ expense’ The Bulletin 21.02.2015
  3. ‘Disaster declaration expected today as Cyclone Marcia farm damage bill grows’ ABC Rural 24.02.2015
  4. ‘Power outages, structural damage from cyclone knock-out CQ plants’ Beef Central 23.02.2015
  5. ‘Asbestos closes JBS plant indefinitely’ 26.02.2015
  6. ‘Central QLD abattoirs closed for second week following Cyclone Marcia’ ABC Rural 27.02.2015
  7. ‘Rockhampton processing delays longer than expected, in wake of Cyclone Marcia’ Beef Central 27.02.2015
  8. ‘Weekly Kill: Cyclone impact reflected in lower tally’ Beef Central 03.03.2015
  9. ‘First Rocky Plant back to work Tomorrow’ Beef Central 17.03.2015
  10. ‘Lakes Creek plant earns QLD multi-cultural award’ Beef Central 13.09.2013
  11. ‘Meat Processor calls on new seante to stop games and repeal carbon tax’ Teys Media Release 03.06.2014
  12. Teys Website-facilities
  13. http://www.teysaust.com.au/about/
  14. ‘Public Abattoir Needed’ Courier-Mail 27.08.1938
  15. ‘Triumph in the Tropics’ 1959 Queensland Government
  16. Empire preference Ottawa Agreement
  17. ‘Lakes Creek abattoir re-opening plans delayed’ www.justfood.com 25.04.2002
  18. ‘Government rewards Packer for meatworks closure’ the Guardian 07.08.2002
  19. Parliament Hansard – Meat Industry Consultive structure and quota allocation 20.08.2002
  20. ACCC – Consolidated Meat Group and Teys Bros merger proposal
  21. ‘Drought biggest driver of Lakes Creek Opening’ QLD CL 14.11.2002
  22. ‘Lakes Creek Workers continue dispute’ www.wsws.org 13.07.2002
  23. ‘Lakes Creek abattoir to reopen’ ABC rural 13.07.2004
  24. ‘Thousands march to support meatworkers’ Green left 13.03.2002
  25. ‘Lakes Creek reopens Monday’ QLD CL 15.07.2004
  26. ‘Packer Firm given grant for abattoir’ SMH 19.02.2005
  27. ‘Union Avoidance Strategies in the meat processing/packing industry in Australia and the USA compared’ Jerrard, O’Leary
  28. ‘Lakes Creek has few lifelines’ the Bulletin 11.02.2010
  29. ‘Union investigates raw deal for refugees at abattoir’ The Bulletin 01.12.2012
  30. QLD Beef Industry Beef situation analysis 2010
  31. ‘Meatworks gets Federal Government grant’ Daily Mercury 05.03.2013
  32. 2014 Inductee – QLD business Leaders Hall of Fame
  33. History
  34. Great Barrier Reef – Environmental History, Ben Daley
  35. ‘To Feed a Nation – A history of Australian food science and technology ‘ Kieth Farrer. 2005
  36. ‘Carbon tax could cost $19M year for big three processors’ Brahman News. 2011
  37. ”Cargill & Teys merger good for the beef industry’ Meat Trade Daily. 22.05.2011
  38. ‘Lakes Creek meatworks had record year’ CQ Herald 06.01.1955
  39. ‘Methane for power at Teys Australia Lakes Creek meatworks’ The Bulletin 19.03.2014
  40. ‘Bully for our beef exports’ Courier Mail 17.07.2011
  41. AMIC Prime Cuts Newsletter 11.01.2011
  42. ‘Meatworks jobs may get the chop’ The Morning Bulletin 11.12.2009
  43. ACCC will not oppose Teys Bros & Cargill Beef Australia proposed merger
  44. ‘Cattle supply chokes’ ABC Rural 14.07.2011
  45. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015

`

Bond Springs (NT)

More commonly known as Wamboden abattoir, located 30km north of Alice Springs. This facility processes camels.

Other Names

  • Wamboden abattoir

Current Operation

  • Facility can process cattle and camels.
  • Company operating – Centralian Gold2

Location

 

 

Owner

  • G Dann.1

Operation

  • Wamboden abattoir is located 30 kilometres north of Alice Springs

Bond Springs.

History

1995

  • Central Australian Camel Industry Association (CACIA) is formed to develop markets for trade in live camels and camel meat.4
  • Estimated population in Australia of feral camels in 1995 – 500,000 head4
  • Northern Territory feral camel population estimated to be 60,000 head.4

Camel map, 1995._edited-1Source http://www.camelsaust.com.au. 24/01/2015
Distribution of Feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) in Australia 1995 (shaded lighter orange)

  • Camels to be processed at an abattoir are required to be4
    • between 3-10 years old4
    • < 400kg, >600kg. Larger animals can’t be handled.4
    • Camels must have previous handling before transported to abattoirs.4
    • if killed when stressed the meat will be darker, taste poorly and not have a good shelf life.4
    • Bulls are not to be in rut (in season), they have a concentrated body odour which makes the meat not fit for human consumption4
    • Cows in final stages of pregnancy must not be sent to the abattoir and cows recently calved will be rejected.4

2008

  • Northern Territory population of feral camels now estimated to be 250,000 – 300,000 head5
    • Located over 875,000 square kilometres of southern NT5
    • Causing significant damage to the environment, degradation of wetlands, destruction of vegetation5
  • Caring for Our Country initiative – 4 year national project – Australian Feral Camel Management Project (AFCMP)5.
    • reduce the numbers of feral camels commencing 2009/20105
    • Aerial culling5

2010

  • February. Contract possibly to be signed to supply up to 50 tonnes of camel meat a week2
    • Slaughter about 400 camels per week2
      • boning and processing to be conducted in South Australia2
    • Supply Australian domestic markets2
      • 10% of the Australian Muslim population2
      • Require a Halal slaughter2
  • October. Federal Government is conducting a camel cull $19M to remove 25,000 animals3
  • Federal Minister for Agriculture – Joe Ludwig is considering all options for camels including live export and export of processed meat.3
  • NT Government say camel trade is not viable and cull must continue to protect the environment.3

2013

  • AFCMP project to June 2013 – culled 52,000 camels in the NT by aerial shooting
    • another 12,000 taken on the ground
    • Estimated to be a 60% reduction of animals in Western desert and 20% in Simpson desert.
    • Estimate a further 25-30,000 animals to be removed in 2013
  • Peterborough abattoir (SA) and Caboolture (QLD) are currently processing 10,000 -15,000 camels per year.
    • have the capacity to process many more
    • significant challenges in the supply chain and high transport costs.
  • Wambonden is processing up to 20 camels a week.
  • Portable abattoirs considered – difficulty to obtain the meat hygiene standards for human consumption
    • Pet meat application for camels is a possibility however risks are assoicated with Indospicine contamination.
      • Toxin found in plants of genus Indigofera. Toxin accumulates in tissue of horses and camels and cause death of dogs if they eat the meat.

Sources

  1. Personal communication.
  2. ‘Alice springs abattoir to produce halal camel meat’ Daily Telegraph 22.02.2010
  3. ‘Ludwig not ruling out central Australian camel industry’ ABC rural. 21.10.2010
  4. http://www.camelsaust.com.au
  5. Alice Springs Rural Review December 2012.

Curtin Springs (NT)

A small closed abattoir located South west of Alice Springs that used to cater to local aboriginal communities and Ayers rock regions. The facility has now been converted to a tourism, paper making workshop.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Closed

Location

  • 85km east of the entrance to the Uluru national Park (Ayers Rock) and 360 km South west of Alice Springs.

Australia. Curtin

Pic. Curtin Springs abattoir located South West of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory

Other Australian Abattoir locations

Owner

  • Peter and Ashley Severin5

Operation

  • Supplied to Aboriginal communities in the area beef that was cheaper than Alice Springs.1

History

1956

  • Severins began operation of the property – working cattle station2
    • helped to develepe tourism to Uluru (100km away)2
    • Curtin Springs was the first wayside Inn in the region. With a store, licensed pub, accommodation and camp sites.2
    • Drive market caters to 300,000 people annually.2
  • 1956 to current period (2014) – Severins’ developed a substantial tourist business along with managing their cattle station of the same name.5
    • Curtin Springs Wayside Inn has a store, licensed pug, fuel, 27 accomodation rooms and camping grounds.5
    • Now caters to the drive market of approximately 300,000 people.5

1970’s

  • Cattle prices were extremely low. Low communities  (including Ayers Rock) did not believe they were receiving good quality meat from their usual suppliers.5
  • Severin’s built the fully licensed commercial abattoir5
    • Considered state of the art at the time and well above industry standards5
      • Facility was later used as a basis for other people who set up abattoirs on their properties.6
      • Urapunga abattoir (NT)
    • Operated with a commercial butchers shop5
    • Employed 3 full time butchers, 1 apprentice, 1 labourer and both Peter and Ashley Severin5
  • Processed 30 head per week, on a single kill day.5
    • Rest of week was used to break up the carcases, pack, freeze and present for retail.5
    • Sourced cattle from local cattle stations – The Gardens, Mulga Park, Tempe Downs, Orange Creek and Haasts Bluff.5
  • Delivery was by aircraft, up to 4 hours by air (one way)5
  • At one stage operating 2 planes, with a full time pilot.5
  • Regular customers – Italian and Greek Immigrants in Alice Springs, for slink meat (Unborn calf meat)5
  • Bull meat was sent to Adelaide as slash and pack5

Curtain Springs._edited-1Pic. Source Lyndee Severin. Interpretive Information page.
Curtin Spring abattoir in operation

Curtin Springs Paper - Old Abattoir  (1)Pic. Source L. Severin. Yards and ramp leading to abattoir

Curtin Springs - Abattoir pictures (3)Pic. L. Severin. Gutting the carcase

Untitled_edited-1Pic. Source Lyndee Severin. Interpretive Information page.
Initial skining and carcase treatment after slaughter.

Curtin Springs - Abattoir pictures (6)Pic. Source L. Severin. Cutting the carcase down the back bone to create 2 sides.

1980’s

  • Facility closed.4
  • Closed due to local politics.5
  • Various attempts to re-open the facility however constraints around staffing was always the greatest challenge.5

2011

  • Federal Government conducted a camel cull in the area that was allocated $19M5
    • Feral Camel situation is complex and layered. No simple answer to the control of the feral camel population.5
    • Large proportion of the funding went to the development of infrastructure and skills on aboriginal managed land for increased commercial removal of camels.5
  • Suggestion was put to government that funding could be supplied to pay for abattoirs, fixed or mobile.1
    • Produce dried meat that could be sent as emergency food supplies in famine affected areas.1
    • Growing demand for camel meat, hide, teeth, fat, milk, toenails and blood products.5
    • Security of the camel processing industry must be supported by domesticated herds. Opportunistic removal are not consistent or reliable.5
    • Bulk of feral camel populations are on aboriginal owned land which have challenges regarding dedicated commercial activities.5

2014

  • July. Application is made to NT Pastoral land board under new arrangement to allow diversification of pastoral properties to develope other businesses beside cattle production.
    • Abattoir to be refitted to make paper. Estimated Cost. $51,0803

Aerial Photo_edited-1Source NT Planning Application – Curtain Springs July 2014
Curtain Springs roadhouse located south (top of picture) of the Lasseters Highway, the abattoir located north (bottom of picture)

  • Sept. NT Government provide grant $45,680, from funding that for tourism development and infrastructure.2
    • Funding is to develop tourism walks along salt lakes and paper making workshop within the abattoir building.2
  • Old Abattoir building now houses the production area and a retail area.5
  • Many of the original features of the working abattoir have been retained and highlighted.5
  • Tours of the papermaking process are available as well as extended stay workshops.5

Curtin Spring papermaking and stay workshops

Curtin Springs facebook

 Curtin Springs Paper - Ashley and Lyndee Severin (2) (3)_edited-1Pic Lyndee Severin.
Ashley and Lyndee Severin – papermaking.

Curtin Springs Paper - Old Abattoir  (2) (2)Pic Lyndee Severin.
The Curtin Springs abattoir.

 Curtin Springs PaperSource L. Severin. Paper products available for sale at the Curtin Springs papermaking facility.

Sources

  1. ‘A rotton waste’ Alice On line. 09.11.2011
  2. ‘Curtain Springs nets Tourism grant’ Nth QLD register. 17.09.2014
  3. Pastoral land board application. July 2014
  4. ‘An old abattoir to be used for making Spinifx paper’ ABC Rural. 30.04.14
  5. Personal Communication. Lyndee Severin 12/14/2014
  6. ‘Red dust rising – The Story of Ray Fryer of Urapunga’ Marion Houldsworth

Australian Abattoir Locations

How this map works.
This is a google engine layered map. At the moment it consists of 7 layers. By clicking on the box on the right hand side of the layers names it will illustrate the location of the abattoirs.

This is a work in progress and is not a complete list of all abattoirs that have operated in Australia or are currently operating.
Locations are approximate and are in relation to the closest town to which they are addressed.

The same abattoir site may appear in two different lists.

Use this link to access the Google map Australian Abattoirs locations.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zg2q19Y75dIo.k9ID5cjkgPd0

abattoirs_edited-1

The Layers are

Closed prior to 1970

Closed after 1970

2014 Domestic Meat processors in current operation – as per the Ausmeat listing 16/07/2014

2014 Export Meat processors in current operation – as per the Ausmeat listing 16/07/2014

1963 Export meatworks  – as per  list of Meat export works in Australia as at February 1963 from the book ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn. 2013.

Other abattoirs currently in operation

These are abattoirs located in some states that I am aware of

Abattoirs under construction

      These are abattoirs I am aware of.

Australian Abattoir and Meat Processor Locations

Roma #2 (Proposed)

 

July 2014. Maronoa council is seeking $75,000 to conduct a feasibility study into the establishment of an abattoir to process beef, sheep and goats. Proposal is reliant on a new airport at Toowoomba currently being built, rail link improvements that are proposed to Miles and extension of the rail from there to Roma.

Other Names

Current Operation

  •  Proposal.

Location

Owner

Operation

History

2014

  • July. Maronoa Regional Council seeking funding of $75,000 from state and Federal government to budget for ‘high level feasibility’ study into establishment of a beef, sheep and game meat abattoir at Roma.1
  • Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba is being constructed and could open new opportunities to Asia, Middle East.1
  • Proposed upgrades to inland rail infrastructure.1
    • Rail  improvments to finish at Miles1
  • some private sector interest had been shown from a delegation from Asia1
  • Not looking to compete with Charleville (QLD) goat abattoir.1
    • Charleville abattoir currently operating at capacity with 80% of the feral goats coming from Surat Basin area.1
  • Council looking for ways to soften downturn in the economy that is predicted to hit once  the resource boom subsides.1

Sources

  1. ‘Roma ramps up abattoir study’ QLD Country Life 31.07.2014
%d bloggers like this: