Tag Archives: closed abattoir

Orange

Other Names

Current Operation

Location   

  • Orange is located 250 km east of Sydney
  • Abbattoir is located on Clergate road

 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

History

1920’s

  • First opened by the Graziers meat service2

1960’s

  • by this period the plant was on of the largest meat works in NSW2
  • Soon dogged by2
    • stock shortages2
    • industrial action2
    • volatile export market2

1992

2002

  • Originally only a packing room, the slaughter floor was opened at this time2
  • Closed after only 9 months operation2
    • 350 people out of work2

2004

  • June. Last 18 months meatworks in Woy Woy, Mudgee abattoir (NSW), Orange, Forbes abattoir (NSW) have all closed, loss of close to 500 jobs.3
  • Bindaree Beef announce a major recruitment drive that would lead to 1,200 new jobs at the abattoir2

2005

  • August. Recruitment drive on hold as plant is limited to ‘value adding ‘ operation at present2
  • Work has been carried out at plant over the last 4 years is continuing2

2010

  • article notes that the Orange abattoir was closed and scrapped. (not date specific)3

Sources

  1. ‘Abattoir cuts 150 jobs’ AMIEU Archives. 05.07.2004
  2. ‘Bindarees Beef’s 1,200 jobs are still on hold’ Central West Daily 14.08.2005
  3. ‘Who is JR McDonald’ The Land 05.03.2010

Harden

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.

Other Names

  • None known.

Current Operation

  • Closed 20065

Location   

  • Harden is located in south west NSW, 30km south of Young

 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • 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

abattoirs_edited-1   

Operation

  • 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

History

1970’s

  • Plant was built by the local council3

1980

  • facility sold to private business3

1987

  • November. Harden facility is listed as a Domestic meat processing site10.
    • Operated as Harden Slaughterhouse10

1995

  • Glen Crebs came to site when smaller abattoir existed, joint venture of operation was created.1

1998

  • 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

1999

  • 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

2001

  • 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

2002

  • 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

2003

  • 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

 2004

  • 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
    • 120 full time staff.2
  • 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

2005

  • August. Abattoir wil re-open as lamb numbers increase across the region.9

2006

  • September. Operated for early part of 2006 before being shut permanently  and broken up.8
  • Abattoir closed5
    • 130 jobs lost5
  • Boning and packing facilities continued to be leased to others who processed stock11

2008

  • Local producers start Argyle Meat business11.
    • Lachlan and Andrina Graham11
      • Integrated supply chain meat business that leased the boning and packing facilities11.

2014

  • 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

Sources

  1. ‘Unkindest cut for small town abattoir’ Sydney Morning Herald 14.06.1999
  2. ‘Harden abattoir closes; Goulburns future uncertain’ Goulburn Post 11.07.2004
  3. ‘Abattoir cuts 150 jobs’ AMIEU Archives. 05.07.2004
  4. Regional radio inquiry submission – Federation of Australian radio broadcasters limited. November 2000.
  5. ‘Positive outlook for Harden in 2014’ Harden Murrumburrah Express 13.12.2013
  6. Feedback’s Top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors for 2002.
  7. Feedback’s Top 25 red meat processors for 2004
  8. Feedback’s Top 25 red meat processors for 2006.
  9. ‘Harden abattoir reopens boosting local economy’ NSW ABC country hour. 17.06.2005
  10. List. Nov 1987.
  11. ‘Manildra Group’s meaty move’ www.farmonline.com.au

Forbes #656. NSW

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.

Other Names

  • Lachley meats

Current Operation

  • Unknown

Location   

  • Forbes is located approximately 600km east of Sydney in central NSW, Abattoir located in the Lachlan valley.4

Forbes

Forbes #2

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Lachley Meats ( when closed 2003)1
    • Owned from 1988-20034
    • Japanese owned – The Hannan Corporation2
  • Tasman Group4
    • Currently operates other abattoirs.4

Operation   

  • export beef works2
  • Specialised in grainfed beef for Japanese and Korean Markets5
  • 170ha site, that is 8km from the CWLX livestock selling centre14.

picture 2013._edited-1Source – ‘Abattoir industry in disastous state’ ABC Rural. 16.02.2010.
Forbes abattoir also known as Lachley meats.

History of Forbes #656.

1950’s

  • Built

1987

  • Liberalisation of Japanese beef markets meant reduced import quotas and reduced import tariffs over the next 3 years. (Pg 82)9

1988

  • 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

1997

  • At this point Forbes abattoir is Aus-meat registered as an Export Beef, sheep facility11
    • Operator – Lachley meats (Forbes) P/L11

2003

  • 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

2010

    • 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

2011

  • 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.

2013

  • 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

2014

  • 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

2016

  • 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

Forbes abattoir

  • 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.

2018

 

Sources of Forbes #656

  1. ‘Dubbo stands while Forbes falls’ Daily Liberal. 21.08.2003
  2. ‘Meat jobs go at Forbes’ The Land. 28.08.2003
  3. ‘Agriculture’ The World trade review. 16-30 September 2003
  4. ‘Abattoirs revived’ Stock and Land 24.12.2003
  5. ‘Meatworks jobs saved’ The Land 25.12.2003
  6. ‘Council offers aid as abattoir closes’ ABC News 22.08.2003
  7. ‘Japanese investment in the World economy: extract’ Roger Farrell.
  8. ‘Forbes council confirms towns abattoir be re-opened after a decade in mothballs.’ ABC Rural. 30.08.2013
  9. World on a plate. Stephen Martyn 2014
  10. ‘Chinese still showing interest in processing assets’ Beef Central 04.10.2016
  11. Aus meat registration list July 1997
  12. www.parliament.nsw.gov.au. Questions 18.09.2003
  13. ‘Abattoir industry in disastrous state’ ABC Rural 16.02.2010
  14. ‘Three meat processing plants hit the market – What’s behind it? Beef Central 14.09.2016
  15. https://www.ruralview.com.au/Real-Estate/1-lachley-street-forbes-nsw/Property-Details-buy-rural-10479908.html. viewed 04.03.2018

Cooee

Cooee was a very small service kill abattoir located Tasmania, fire caused its closure in 2012 affecting many small producers who would follow the complete process of their animals treatment through to packing.

Other Names

  • Cooee Point

Current Operation

  • Closed – fire burnt processing and packing facility in 20121

Location   

  • Cooee is on the western end of the north coast of Tasmania.1

Australia. Cooee

CooeeHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Wendy Gee1

Operation   

  • A small service kill and processing, packing facility for local producers1
  • Processed pigs, lambs and cattle1
  • Employed 6 people1

History

1992

  • facility had been in operation before this time1

2012

  • January. Extensive fire damage to facility occured.1
  • 90% of the commercial cattle in the area were processed at Devonport abattoir (Tas) but Cooee had a solid local following1
    • facility is used by smaller producers to kill, butcher and pack their meat.2
    • Producers were able to watch the animal processed right throughout2
  • Fire thought to be suspicious1
  • June. Wendy Gee will offer services at a butchery in Terrylands, Animals are killed at Devonport abattoir (Tas) approximately 50km away, then transferred to Terrylands for processing.3

Sources

  1. ‘Fire razes North-west abattoir’ The Examiner 22.01.2012
  2. ‘Cooee abattoir fire forces producers to assess their options’ ABC Country Hour. 23.01.2012
  3. ‘Abattoir owner back in business’ The Advocate. 17.06.2012

Trafalgar

Other Names

  • Giles abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed – 2012, following claims of cruelty.5

Location   

  • Trafalgar is located 130 kilometres South east of Melbourne in Victoria

Australia. Trafalgar

TrafalgarHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • L.E Giles and Sons abattoir2

Operation   

  • Processed Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs5
  • Employed 25 full time workers5

History

2010

  • Late in 2010. Animal activist posing under a false name as a photography student was allowed access to the abattoir. She took video footage of the slaughter of pigs, which was given to Animals Australia Inc. (AA). AA made a formal complaint to both primesafe and department of primary industries2
  • Abattoir had previously allowed schools in, senior vets and allowed people access to the kill floor.
    they had nothing to hide. As far as we were concerned we were operating within the guidelines” Bruce Giles – Former abattoir worker5

2011

  • Nov. 24th. Primesafe contacted LE Giles & Sons and ordered to cease work until further notice due to animal cruelty2
    • Mangement of abattoir attended meeting in PrimeSafe’s office in Melbourne – and were shown footage 25th.2
    • Animals Australia footage as accessed 21.12.13. (Note I actually didn’t watch this as my computer had trouble loading) Trafalgar abattoir – activist footage
      • AA refused to release footage to Herald sun as they had made another deal already with another media outlet.3
      • Film shot by a member of the Animal Liberation Victoria group.3
        • Sarah Lynch – well-known animal activist, had already tried to access another Gippsland abattoir, was allegedly caught filming outside of another.5
  • Sarah Lynch visited abattoir twice – first recorded lamb and beef kill, second visit was to record pigs7
  • Film – last of 60 pigs stunned electronically before slaughter.5
  • One pig escaped and man hit pig with sledgehammer.5
  • workers claim Sarah Lynch stood where it contributed to scaring the pig and it escaping.5
  • Claim of pig running into scalding vat was not possible, as it was physcially impossible for the pigs to go in as the access door was closed and pig would have to leap 1.5m high. “So it didn’t happen” Trevor Stever.5
  • Claim of pig taking 6 minutes to die was “a lot of rubbish” Trevor Stever – former inspector5

Animals Australia. Kates statement. 21.12.13._edited-1Source – Animals Australia.org.  Acessed 21.12.13.
Sarah Lynch (AKA Kate)- Animal Liberation Victoria statement of what she filmed at Trafalgar abattoir late 2010.

  • Sarah Lynch has refused all attempts from media to speak5
  • Management (Ray Giles aged 80 and Colin Giles aged 72) went to meeting with PrimeSafem had no legal advice, felt bullied, intimidated and helpless by aggressive regulator2
    • Agreed to surrender licence, PrimeSafe refused to give any written confirmation of meeting5
  • Regulator announced in papers 26th Primesafe chief excutive officer – Brian Casey, it was his intention to close abattoir permanently3
    • made comments to shut abattoir down while Victorian DPI and PrimeSafe were still conducting investigations
    • Regulator accused of damage control, with snap closure of the abattoir similar impact to Live animal export closure in Ban of 20116
    • Media hysteria of cruelty and closure of abattoir damaged the Trafalgar business name and reputation7
    • Critics of Primesafe say only pig processing should have been shut down not the sheep and cattle lines2
    • Trafalgar were never given opportunity to change processing procedure, yet other abattoirs had similar processing lines and were given the chance to rectify problems7
    • abattoirs across Australia say there is an effective audit process and abattoirs don’t require CCTV installations, the issue with Trafalgar was compliance by owners and operators with regulations that are there.6
  • Brian Casey – said PrimeSafe cancelled licence following receival of fax from Giles  a number of days latter saying it was Giles decision to cancel their licence.5
  • Giles Claim that at meeting Casey threatened them to either hand in licence or have it taken from them, if they handed in, matter would be finished, if they didn’t  PrimeSafe would take as far as they can, even with the possibility of jail5
  • Auditing – Abattoir was audited 4 times a year by SGS ,a  Primesafe approved auditor, last time  a pig kill was audited was November 2004, Since then 26 audits conducted by 4 different auditor but only beef and sheep kills observed2
  • Not once in audits hade PrimeSafe indicated Pig slaughter was incorrect processing7
  • Primesafe accused of massive failure in auditing process due to fact pig kill wasn’t observed, Primesafe had never stated or reported that pig kill process wasn’t acceptable. Other abattoirs had installed kill boxes for pigs and only required photographs to be submitted the premises weren’t inspected.2
  • If audits had indicated that there needed to be a change, then the abattoir would have made changes.2
    • Primesafe argued that the abattoir breached the ruling that the pigs must be individually placed in a restraining box for slaughter, Since 1996 Trafalgar been permitted to stun pigs while the animals remained in their familial groups, a method many, including scientists regard as far more humane5
    • If the method Trafalgar used was wrong their own audit processes failed to pick up.5
  • closure occured in busiest part of year – 2t of legs of pork to be cured for hams, abattoir was given 24 to get rid of it all.5
  • 2 meat inspectors who spoke in support of Trafalgar were reminded by regulator of confidentiality clauses in their licensing, the full time meat inspector at Trafalgar has his licence revoked, Number of butchers licensed under PrimeSafe were unable to speak out as too afraid of repercussions of regulator7

2013

  • April. Department of environment and Primary industries dropped charges against abattoir – not enough evidence4
  • Charges had been against Colin Giles, James Rodwell (quality assurance manager) and three slaughtermen – offences under the Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act.5
    • Slaughterment pleaded guilty but judge noted cruelty wasn’t deliberate and due to loss of jobs had suffered significantly – escaped conviction and given 12 month good behaviour bond.5
    • Slaughtermen were advised to take guilty plea due to cost of fighting charges in court5
  • All other charges dropped by DPI April 15, as believed little chance of successful prosecution5
  • No further explanation has been given to Giles family from DPI for reasons of dropping charges.5
  • Giles had to sell commercial property to fund legal costs $150,000, to contest charges was another $35,000, DPI had bottomless resources of State solicitors office5
  • Animals Australia deny any inapproprate action in issue as their role was limited to lodging the complaint. “The fact that workers pleaded guilty to cruelty offences reiterates the appropriateness of Animals Australia lodging a complaint”5
  • Sept. Flow on effects to producers5
  • Goat producers business was ruined as soon as abattoir closed – had to take animals to Kynton, transport was costly and business was unable to service its customers.5
  • Pig producer of rare breeds was unable to have smaller animals processed at other abattoirs for neiche markets.5
  • Abattoir wasn’t attending markets to purchase animals5
  • Effect on owners – health problems and high stress levels.5
  • PrimeSafe withdrew court proceedings because they couldn’t prove or win the case in a court of law.10
  • Closure of the abattoir affected a number of producers – some closing down. It also affected those who had service kill of farm animals done for home consumption10
  • Oct. False allegations of animal cruelty caused far reaching consequences of business closure1
  • Local farmers say State government PrimeSafe and DPI should be investigated for mishandling4
  • Support site and petition established Community support for Giles (Trafalgar abattoir)
    • to assist with legal action and re-open abattoir
    • 3000 signatures collected on petition and handed to parliament8
    • Personal testaments in media “The Giles family is held in high esteeem by many from within the industry and outside it too” – Peter Kostos – Livestock agent in Gippsland area since 1986.10
    • Kneejerk reaction based on footage gained by an animal activist under deceptive, if not deliberate circumstances, LR Giles and Sons abattoir was closed without justice and due diligence occurring” Peter Kostos10
  • Sources
    1. ‘Bring them to account’ Mail times 04.10.13.
    2. Inquiry into the impact of food safety regulation on farms and other businesses. Sale 18.10.2012
    3. ‘Abattoir shut amid animal cruelty claims’ Herald sun. 26.11.13.
    4. ‘Calls for more investigations in abattoir closure’ ABC Rural 03.10.13.
    5. ‘Overkill’ ABC Landline 29.09.13
    6. ‘Trafalgar abattoir let the whole meat industry down’ Meat trade news daily 09.12.11
    7. Letter from employee to Inquiry – 31.08.13.
    8. ‘Letter: Giles abattoir closure must be reviewed and petition tabled’ Warragul citizen 11.04.12
    9. ‘Guilty until proven innnocent’ Stock and Land 03.10.13.

Bowen

Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4

Location   

  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

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

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

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

Operation          

  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks

1890’s

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

1894

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

1905

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

1919

  • In operation

1932

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

1933

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

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

1941

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

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

1958

  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10

1960’s  

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

1963

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

1980’s

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

1983

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

1986 

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

1987

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

1988 

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

1996

  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4

1997  

  • Closed.2

1998

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

Sources

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