Tag Archives: employment in abattoirs


Devonport abattoir, located in Tasmania and owned by JBS, a multi species abattoir with a checkered past.

Other Names

  • North West Rendering8
  • Devonport City abattoir.

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #13T – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Devonport).18
    • registered as a Beef, Sheep and Pig, Domestic facility.16
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au


  • Devonport is located approximately midway on the Northern coast of Tasmania

Australia. Devonport

DevonportHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.



  • Multi species abattoir located ajacent to Devonport saleyards1

    • Processes beef, sheep and pork1
    • Capacity 150 beef daily and 1,200 Smallstock daily (Lamb, mutton, Veal and Pork)1
  • Employs 150 people1



  • Devonport rendering plant had been in operation6
    • Note – some conflict of when abattoir operations began, not sure if 1977 was a previous owner prior to Devonport City abattoir acquisition.


  • Meatworks operation began9


  • August. Employee Ian Sutton sacked by abattoir for mistreatment of sheep, Industrial relations hearing of Ian Sutton was supported by AMIEU for unfair dismissal – court dismissed and sacking held.10


  • Expanded rendering works.5


  • October. Quoiba Progress Association Ltd v North West Rendering Pty Ltd. – Resource Management and Planning appeal tribunal found that the rendering works had caused material harm in breach of section 52 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act.5
    • Facility was to cease operating unless after 12 months it could reduce emissions of odour by 2 odour units.5
    • NWR given 18 months to fix odour problems7


  • Rendering works was the only facility in Tasmania taking external meat waste from around the state to5


  • March. Contested hearing conducted – regarding Rendering works – to consider if had complied with tribunal orders5
    • residents still experiencing odour problems7
    • Works operators and Director of Environmental management submitted to hearing that rendering works had “substantially complied”5
    • Quoiba Progress association disputed claim.5
    • Tribunal found rendering works hadn’t complied – effectively ruling that after 27 April 2002 operation of the rendering works at the current premises in Quoiba was unlawful5
    • Given 12 months to relocate7
    • NWR commenced supreme court action challenging original decision5
      • Judge ruled testing regime for acceptable odour emissions as set out in original orders was too unclear7
      • Matter set back to original tribunal panel to decide if any fresh orders should be made.7
  • June. Smithton abattoir (Tas) retrenches 21 workers.11
    • Blue Ribbon (owners of Smithton) insolvent and collapse.12
  • Devonport says it is doing well but calls for inquiry into the state meat industry11
  • September. Agreement reached for new site for rendering plant8
    • Previous negotiations had considered operating hours and ungrades.8
      • Planning & Appeals tribunal decreed odour still unacceptable.8
    • NRW have agreed with Websters to purchase 65ac near Parramatta creek.8
    • Cost of $3M8


  • August. Installed $125,000 bio-oxygen odour control generator at the rendering plant6
    • Local residents had complained of smells since 19776
  • Abattoir had considered relocated but was unable to find suitable land in the last 12 months6
  • Would have to sack 200 people if business was closed6
  • September. Resource Management and Planning Tribunal would rule on decision to allow plant to operate or close it down6


  • Devonport City abattoir had owned Wignalls – sold to Tasma smallgoods in Hobart.
    • focus on contract killings at Devonport (Quoiba) site


  • July.Tasman Group purchase Devonport facilities.9
  • Resource Management and Planning tribunal hearing7
    • North West Rendering Pty Ltd (NWR) confirmed that the rendering plant and land had been sold and the company was no longer involved with the operation of the plant – to Tasman Group Services (JBS)7
    • NWR changed name to Brown and Grey No2 Pty Ltd.5
    • Quoiba progress Association to work with new owners to address odour problems.7
    • Tribunal was unable to make any orders in relation to ongoing plant operations7


  • Tasman Group Chairman – Giuseppe Catalfamo brided Cole’s head of supermarket merchadising Peter Scott (Coles fired Scott in 2007).13
    • Scott had acquired million dollar bayside apartment from Catalfamo13
    • Considered a breach of retailers code of conduct – Tasman group main supplier of beef in Victoria and Tasmania13
    • Catalfamo been caught bribing and meat substitution in past – horse-meat substitution scandel that threatened Australia’s export industry 20 years ago, fined and banned from exporting to the USA for 10 years.13
  • Devonport abattoir provides Woolworths with fresh sausages for 29 Tasmanian stores13
  • Tasman Group – report ending 200513
    • sales had increased 30% but profit halved to $6.3M13
    • Company borrowings total nearly $62M13
      • Main creditors – National Australia Bank, ANZ and Japanese meat company Hannan Corporation13


  • JBS purchased as part of Tasman group when entered Australia with acquitsition of AMH3
  • Tasman Group consists of abattoirs in Tasmania – Longford, Devonport and King Island14
    • Tasman group 3 abattoirs in Tasmania including King Island and 3 in Victoria.14
    • JBS paid $US150M14
  • JBS also purchased Smithfield Group $US565M14
    • Has four abattoirs14
  • JB also purchase National Beef $US560M14
    • Has three abattoirs14
    • 2 meat processing facilities14


  • JBS elect to combine it’s US and Australian beef processing results into a common finanical report presented at ‘US beef’.22
  • Impossible to distinguish Australia’s performance and contribution to the overall result.22


  • JBS Australia split into two operating entities to make Northern and Southern regions in relation to abattoirs and feedlots within those areas15.
    • South – Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania15
    • North – NSW and QLD.15


  • Closure of King Island abattoir (Tas) assisted the supply of cattle to Longford.
  • JBS “Company is still pleased with its decision to close (King Island)” John Berry. JBS director2
    • Islands King Island and Flinders supply 200-450 head cattle a week, higher in spring run.3
    • Longford process 450 cattle a day – 4 day week roster.3
  • King Island cattle supply receives freight subsidy – sliding scale – $26 into Stanley in proximity to Smithton abattoir (Tas), $30 into Devonport4.Where cattle can be sent to Devonport or Longford abattoir (Tas)
    • Scale acts as disincentive to increase freight efficency.4
  • September. JBS launch brand launch.20

Beef central 27.09.2013 logo

Great Southern Logo. Source Beef Central 27.09.2013

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


  • April. Devonport currently employ 150 people.19
  • July. JBS Australia across all facilities in operation kills daily.15
    • 8,500 cattle,15
    • 24,000 smalls – which includes lambs15
    • Employs more than 8,000 people15
  • December.
    • JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states16
      • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)16
      • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities16
        • Employs 12,000 people in Australia16
      • Total revenue of $6.5B16

    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)16
      • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%16
      • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
    • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 201416


    • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country16
    • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA16
      • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour16
      • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA8
        1. Government regulation
          • $10 a head more in Australia16
          • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification16
            • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M16
            • JBS contribute $14.5M16
          • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs16
            • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level16
          • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors16
        2. Energy Costs
          • $15 a head more in Australia16
      • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs16
        • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets16
          • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts16
  • December. ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.17
    • 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.17
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.17
    • JBS Holdco Australia Pty Ltd produced Total Income $4,040,948,610.17
      • Taxable Income $419,882,525.17
        • Tax Payable $44,809,334.17


Sources Devonport Tas. JBS

  1. http://www.jbsswift.com.au
  2. ‘Abattoir closure continues to bite’ ABC News 14.09.13.
  3. ‘Expansion plans ahead for JBS Longford – One of Australia’s most versatile meat plants’ Beef Central 18.10.13.
  4. ‘King Island freight subsidy fight’ ABC rural. 17.09.2013
  5. Environmental Defenders Office (Tas) inc. Bulletin Dec 2002.
  6. ‘Hope for NW abattoir jobs as stink fades’ Examiner 04.09.2003.
  7. Journal – ‘Impact’ – #79 Sept 2005.
  8. ‘NW rendering plant to Move’ ABC rural 04.09.2002
  9. ‘Devonport abattoir sold’ ABC rural 15.07.2005
  10. AMIEU v Devonport City Abattoir T5776 of 1995
  11. ‘Devonport City abattoir doing well’ ABC rural. 26.06.2002
  12. ‘Australia: Smithton abattoir to reopen tomorrow’ Just foods. 04.03.2002
  13. ‘Woolies sticks by kickback butcher’ SMH. 15.01.2007
  14. ‘Big Beef producer cuts deal with Tasman Group’ The Age. 06.03.2008
  15. ‘The next Swift Shift’ The Weekly Times. 30.07.2014
  16. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  17. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  18. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  19. ‘JBS expands its books’ Stock & Land 24.04.2014
  20. ‘JBS unveils new QA driven southern grassfed brand program’ Beef Central 27.09.2013
  21. ‘Swift CCTV camera action’ Weekly Times 13.11.2013
  22. ‘JBS delivers lower third quarter beef sales, revenue’ Beef Central 14.11.2013


Other Names

  • Harvey Beef

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 2013. Establishment #648


  • Harvey WA. 160km S of Perth
  • rolling foothills of the Darling Range, 3km from Township of Harvey.

Australia. Harvey

Map. Harvey


  • Joint venture – Harvey Beef Industries. General Manager Dean Goode7
  • Harvey Indsutries group purchased for $27M 20068
    • Harvey Industries group is owned by International private equity firm – Harmony Capital management10
  • Others in Group with Harvey Beef Industries
  • Elders – 20% stake – sold to Harmony Investment Fund (Harmony Capital) $0.7M, June 20098
  • Stark Investments sold to Harmony Investment Fund, June 20098


  • Site is 190ha10
  • 180 ac kill 100 000 animals1
  • 175 0002 (3,500hd a week)– assume when upgrades done about 2004/2005
  • Processes 145,0009
  • Largest processor in WA9
  • Harvey also operate Harvey Industries Processing Centre (HIPC) – a boning facility in Fremantle10
  • Cattle only5
  • export accredited, does operate in domestic, main focus is export2
  • Domestic – process 11% of states supply for WA4
  • Processed 80-90% of beef export (prior to Waroona closing)6
  • Medium sized2
  • 700 workers2
  • Processes large steers, area of Capel, for export, only ab to be able to process the large animals3
  • $150M turnover4
  • Export to 30 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Canada,Japan, Korea,Taiwan, Middle East4 & 10
  • 70% of Harvey beef product is exported10
  • Could process 210 0004
  • Food safety processes in place
    • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) – process used for identification, evaluation & control.1
    • Onsite microbiological labratory accredited by the government National testing authority10
    • Underpinned by comprehensive standard operating procedures10
    • AQIS oversees meat hygiene, safety regulations and certification10
    • NLIS – use for identification and tracking of animals.10
  • Harvey Beef is accredited by globally recognised standards10.
    • USDA Approval
    • JAS Accreditation
    • MSA/EQA – gaurantees eating quality
    • Halal Religious and cultural criteria
    • Ausmeat A+ accreditation
    • Exceeds ISO standards under AQS



  • Cited as the start of the establishment of WA largest beef producer at the site10


  • Built by Ernest and Mary Green1


  • Transported meat wholesale to metropolitan areas1


  • Company EG Greens and Sons Pty Ltd established.1
  • Started to acquire pastoral land – Balmoral Station & farms, Raised stock, shorthorns, Herefords, fat lambs, pastoral leases in NW, covered 1M hectares1


  • Granted export licence, continued to buy land, horse breeding and pastoral activities1.
  • Abattoirs improved and modernised, brine curing plants to handle skins and export of leather1.


  • Utilisation rate 60% – Industry average 70%5


  • Utilisation rate 90% – Industry average 85%with 70-80% export5


  • Mentioned in review

“it is critical that this firm remains profitable and efficient to ensure the industry can continue to grow”2

  • Recently made additions to plant on slaughter floor and boning rooms2
  • Shut – Causes of downturn, drought, influx of cheap meat imports, LE and changing markets1
  • National Australia Bank/AWB landmark/Elders placed under recieivership2
  • Harvey had 90% of export market
  • Loss of Harvey result in direct cash loss of $8.5M in the town alone, multiplier $1.10 for every dollar lost, $2.10 equates to $17.5M/yr2
  • Corporate decisions cited as main problem causing closure2 & 4
  • Attempted to rationalise assets – sale of stations, Abattoir had 2 very bad trading months2
  • Some creditors owed $1M, producers $250 000, are others owed4


  • Purchase $27M – Harvey Industries Group8


  • March. WA largest abattoir – bargaining with unions “cost parity it needs to be competitive”
  • Workers rejected a 3 year workplace agreement for the 2nd time, 1st rejected month earlier. 160 workers since made redundant7
  • 115 voted against/99 in favour, would have led to a pay cut of 20% for 1/3 of workforce for 3 years7
  • Alternative may be short term agreement, wage cuts lasting 2 years some entitlement provisions7
  • April. 160 workers redundant, remaining workers accepted pay cut8
  • June. Harmony Capital buy all of Stark Investments and Elders shares in Harvey Beef8
  • Values company at $3.5M, 3 years previously paid $27M8???????? $3.5 sounds too low.
  • Harvey Beef website (accessed 22.06.13) updated 17.08.09.
    • Processing 145,000 grass and grain fed animals a year.10
    • Employs 300 people10



  • Harvey Beef Website (accessed 22.06.13) undated Fact sheet.
    • Employees 650.10
    • Processing capacity 4,500 per week10
    • By products Hides, Meat and bone meal, blood meal and tallow10


  • Andrew Forrest Minderoo group purchase for more than $30M11
  • Craig Mostyn Group – WA biggest pork processor had attempted to buy the facility11


  1. Harvey History Online. Undated
  2. Parliament Hansard 17.08.05.P Omodei.
  3. Parliament Hansard 17.08.05 S. Thomas
  4. Parliament Hansard 17.08.05. M Trenorden
  5. WAMIA . Meat Processors (2013)
  6. Parliament Hansard K. Chance 13.10.98
  7. ‘Harvey Beef workers vote against workplace agreement but new proposal offers hope’ AFN 27.03.09
  8. ‘Private equity firm snares Harvey Beef’ AFN 16.06.09
  9. ‘Northern Australian beef industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE 2012
  10. http://www.harveybeef.com.au/index.php/home
  11. ‘Craig Mostyn sell-off aims to boost growth’ Stock & Land 07.08.2014
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