Built in the 1970’s by council, Southern meats purchased and ran with US consortium. US sheepmeat import tariffs caused short closures but lack of supply of animals due to extended drought caused final closure in 2006.
- Harden is located in south west NSW, 30km south of Young
Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.
- General Manager – Glen Crebs (American)1
- Southern Meats – Manager Neville Newton2
Other abattoirs in Australia
Go to this link to view Location of Australian Abattoirs
- Sole purpose was to process lambs for the American market1
- Primarily for the North American market7
- Boning room is purpose built for further processing of customer orders.7
- Skins collected are processed at Goulburn to drum salt stage7
- Employs 150 people2
- Brands – Fine Brand, Country Meadow, Southern Cross.7
- Plant was built by the local council3
- facility sold to private business3
- November. Harden facility is listed as a Domestic meat processing site10.
- Operated as Harden Slaughterhouse10
- Glen Crebs came to site when smaller abattoir existed, joint venture of operation was created.1
- opened as joint venture with Superior Farms USA.1
- facility was refurbished in the late 1990’s3
- Converted to an export-only meatworks supplying high quality lamb to overseas markets3
- USA considering placing tarriff on Australian and New Zealand lamb in response to calls from the struggling Americal lamb industry1
- USA trade is worth more than $100M each year1
- 10,000 lambs slaughtered at Harden each week,1
- all cut to suit USA market demand1
- racks, not chops1
- sold as ‘Country Meadow Austral American Brand’1
- June. If increased tarriffs are implemented by USA it would be worst-case scenerio for Harden1
- Note of a recent event that occured in the region; the loss of jobs at Harden abattoir affecting lamb producers following the US lamb tariff decision4
- Southern Meats Pty Ltd – figures for year ending December 20026, Harden and Goulburn abattoir (NSW)
- Ranked 10th in Top 25 Australian beef and Sheepmeat processors for 20016
- Throughput 65,000 ETCW (estimated tonnes carcase weight)6
- Turnover $225M6
- Southern Meats Pty Ltd – figures for year ending December 20026, Harden and Goulburn abattoir (NSW) combined.
- Ranked 12th in Top 25 Australian beef and Sheepmeat processors for 20026
- Throughput 49,000 ETCW (estimated tonnes carcase weight)6
- Kill share 1.8%6
- Turnover $206M6
- Total staff 7006
- Plant forced to shut down for 3 months as stock numbers dwindled.3
- Closed due to supply shortage during the drought.9
- Southern Meats Pty Ltd – figures for year ending December 20037, Harden and Goulburn abattoir (NSW) combined.
- Ranked 14th in Top 25 Australian beef and Sheepmeat processors for 20027
- Throughput 46,675 ETCW (estimated tonnes carcase weight)7
- Turnover $180M7
- Now owned by Southern Meats Goulburn2
- with an American consortium3
- Authors note – some articles show Southern meats owned the plant prior to 2004, I’m not sure if 2004 is just when the American consortium joined.
- June. Plant staff had been stood down2
- Last 18 months meatworks in Woy Woy, Mudgee abattoir (NSW), Orange, Forbes abattoir (NSW) have all closed, loss of close to 500 jobs.3
- July. closed, possibly for the next 2 years.2
- Situation hasn’t been good for 2-3 last years2
- expected to stay closed at least for 12 months and possibly longer3
- effects of the worst drought on record continue to be felt in the region3
- “Until the drought breaks there is a lot of uncertainty all through the bush. The company really had no option but to close down” Harden Mayor, Chris Manchester3
- Major problem facing industry was lack of growth in Australian sheep flock2
- skyrocketing cost of lambs in recent years2
- Breaking even on selling lambs at $100 but paying $150.2
- Lamb prices in general were higher than what the US can pay2
- Southern Meats Pty Ltd – figures for year ending December 20047, Harden and Goulburn abattoir (NSW) combined.
- Ranked 10th in Top 25 Australian beef and Sheepmeat processors for 20047
- Throughput 55,000 ETCW (estimated tonnes carcase weight)7
- Kill share 2.6%7
- Turnover $185M7
- Total staff 4807
- Productio split 95% export, 5% domestic7
- Species split 75% sheep, 25% lamb7
- August. Abattoir wil re-open as lamb numbers increase across the region.9
- September. Operated for early part of 2006 before being shut permanently and broken up.8
- Abattoir closed5
- Boning and packing facilities continued to be leased to others who processed stock11
- Local producers start Argyle Meat business11.
- Lachlan and Andrina Graham11
- Integrated supply chain meat business that leased the boning and packing facilities11.
- July. Argyle Meats who had been leasing the boning and packing facilities at this time move their operation to the former dairy factory at Nowra11
- Nowra facility was more high-tech11
- ‘Unkindest cut for small town abattoir’ Sydney Morning Herald 14.06.1999
- ‘Harden abattoir closes; Goulburns future uncertain’ Goulburn Post 11.07.2004
- ‘Abattoir cuts 150 jobs’ AMIEU Archives. 05.07.2004
- Regional radio inquiry submission – Federation of Australian radio broadcasters limited. November 2000.
- ‘Positive outlook for Harden in 2014’ Harden Murrumburrah Express 13.12.2013
- Feedback’s Top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors for 2002.
- Feedback’s Top 25 red meat processors for 2004
- Feedback’s Top 25 red meat processors for 2006.
- ‘Harden abattoir reopens boosting local economy’ NSW ABC country hour. 17.06.2005
- List. Nov 1987.
- ‘Manildra Group’s meaty move’ http://www.farmonline.com.au
Located southwest NSW, built in the 1950’s, owned and operated by Japanese 1988 to 2003. Plant required significant capital upgrades which the owners were not prepared to do and it closed in 2003. Talk of reopening in 2013.
- Forbes is located approximately 600km east of Sydney in central NSW, Abattoir located in the Lachlan valley.4
Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.
- Lachley Meats ( when closed 2003)1
- Owned from 1988-20034
- Japanese owned – The Hannan Corporation2
- Tasman Group4
- Currently operates other abattoirs.4
- export beef works2
- Specialised in grainfed beef for Japanese and Korean Markets5
- 170ha site, that is 8km from the CWLX livestock selling centre14.
Source – ‘Abattoir industry in disastous state’ ABC Rural. 16.02.2010.
Forbes abattoir also known as Lachley meats.
History of Forbes #656.
- Liberalisation of Japanese beef markets meant reduced import quotas and reduced import tariffs over the next 3 years. (Pg 82)9
- Plant in operation at this point1.
- Lachley meats take over2
- Trading company Mitsubishi were important investors in Australian beef cattle lot feeding and were involved in ‘paddock to plate’ supply chain control. Mitsubishi invested in Lachley meats and Mid Coast Meats – Macksville NSW.(Pg 124)7
- Japanese firms invested in Australia feedlots and processing facilities especially in QLD, in order to supply the liberalised Japanese market, to ensure product quality and safety standards and to create a more secure supply chain for their parents in Japan (pg 123)7
- Cattle feedlots in Australia had increased in the 1960’s solely to supply the Japanese markets, when the 1974 (Oil Crisis) occured massive losses occured to Australian feedlotters and producers with little impact on the Japanese buyers as they had little equity in the investments. When trade was rebuilt Japanese importers had to invest in the feedlots to share some of the risk (Pg 81)9
- At this point Forbes abattoir is Aus-meat registered as an Export Beef, sheep facility11
- Operator – Lachley meats (Forbes) P/L11
- August. Abattoir closes.1
- 170 permanent employees, plus another 70 part-time1
- company committed to meet all workers entitlements1
- Another article cites 300 jobs were lost due to the Forbes abattoir closure
- Forbes abattoir at one stage had employed up to 450 people14
- 4.5% of the then Forbes population14
- Unlike Cities of Geelong and Illawarra when Ford factory and Bluescope steel closed, Forbes didn’t receive anywhere near the same level of government support14.
- Both cities had received about $25M together14.
- Lachley closed operations rather than invest in capital in a plant that had a bad trading history since 19881
- Japanese owned pulled the plug on further financial support.2
- citing high operating costs of an aged plant2
- shortage of labour2
- capital requirements needed to comply with by-products results since acquisition in 19882
- Hannon Corporation was the 2nd largest importer of beef into Japan3
- Owned a plant in Japan that could process up to 150,000 head a year3
- Increased tariff on beef imports by Japan earlier had claimed it’s first Australian victim3
- Major factors are the economic situation in Japan3
- Situation in Australia and markets is exasperated by the drought3
- All creditors and liabilities will be paid out in full2
- Abattoir had closed and re-opened 3 times in the last 20 years.2
- Local council willing to help to facilitate sale of plant as abattoir or conversion to some other type of factory6
- Money was available for industrial developement6
- Special abattoir displacement retraining fund to help retrain people through TAFE6
- Assist in reducing costs of worker’s compensation, public liability and insurances overall, “..because abattoirs pay right at the top of all those services and that is working against abatttoirs in general” Member for Lachlan Ian Armstrong.6
- Closure of the abattoir would impact by taking a major premium buyer for cattle out of the market throughout the region.6
- December. Abattoir sold to Tasman Group services.4
- Tasman Group also operate Brooklyn (Vic) and Altona (Vic), Yarrawonga (NSW) Longford (Tas) and King Island (Tas)4
- Also feedlot Yambinya – Wakool4
- Six red meat abattoirs in Central NSW have closed since 200313
- Outlook for the sector looks bleak13
- “It’s disastrous. There are too many processing abattoirs out there and not enough animals to slaughter” Neville Newton, Goulburn abattoir operator13
- There are currently 29 red meat abattoirs in NSW, down 30% 10 years ago13
- May. Equipment from the Killarney #22Q. QLD abattoir is used to refurbish Forbes10
- Equipment is kept in storage and not actually installed but is included in sale deal offered September 201614
- Sale of facility is thought to have occurred about this time – Australian owner14.
- Abattoir to be re-opened, had be closed last decade.8
- Will be over 12 months before improvements are carried out and plant in operation.8
- NSW Government is questioned if it will offer potential buyers of the Forbes abattoir financial assistance12.
- Governments reply – Mr Ian Armstrong, Minister of Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra and Minister for Small business answers that the NSW government would be willing to work with any potential buyer of Forbes abattoir12
- Grafton #157 NSW had received financial assistance in the past12
- September. Forbes abattoir attracted strong overseas investment enquiry – principally Chinese10
- With a view to re-opening as a beef processing plant10
- Half of the 10 or so interested parties in the purchase were overseas interests10
- Looking to vertically integrate10
- Some investors looking to demolish the plant entirely and build a brand new facility14
- One Korean interest is looking for an Australian shareholder partner14
- Other facilities in Australia listed for sale at this time
Source ‘Three meat processing plants hit the market…’ Beef Central 14.09.2016
- Three abattoirs are on at the market in Australia at this time14.
- Equipment removed from the Killarney abattoir in 2011 kept in storage is included in the sale deal offered at this time14
- Current owner of Forbes abattoir is thought to have owned the site for 4-5 years14.
- Stockyards, ponds and office infrastructure are intact at this point in time14
- October 6. Forbes abattoir site is auctioned14
Source Ian Simpson Property sale advert.
Sources of Forbes #656
- ‘Dubbo stands while Forbes falls’ Daily Liberal. 21.08.2003
- ‘Meat jobs go at Forbes’ The Land. 28.08.2003
- ‘Agriculture’ The World trade review. 16-30 September 2003
- ‘Abattoirs revived’ Stock and Land 24.12.2003
- ‘Meatworks jobs saved’ The Land 25.12.2003
- ‘Council offers aid as abattoir closes’ ABC News 22.08.2003
- ‘Japanese investment in the World economy: extract’ Roger Farrell.
- ‘Forbes council confirms towns abattoir be re-opened after a decade in mothballs.’ ABC Rural. 30.08.2013
- World on a plate. Stephen Martyn 2014
- ‘Chinese still showing interest in processing assets’ Beef Central 04.10.2016
- Aus meat registration list July 1997
- http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au. Questions 18.09.2003
- ‘Abattoir industry in disastrous state’ ABC Rural 16.02.2010
- ‘Three meat processing plants hit the market – What’s behind it? Beef Central 14.09.2016
- https://www.ruralview.com.au/Real-Estate/1-lachley-street-forbes-nsw/Property-Details-buy-rural-10479908.html. viewed 04.03.2018