Friday, 31 January 2020 09:17

Coronavirus starting to impact meat processing 

Written by  Staff Reporters
Simon Limmer. Simon Limmer.

Disruption in China caused by the coronavirus is forcing meat processor Silver Fern Farms to reduce production from next week.

Read: Coronavirus forces NZ meat shipments away from China.

In an email to farmer suppliers, SFF chief executive Simon Limmer says mutton production will be impacted.

“Mutton production will be impacted from next week with limited capacity available nationally for processing until there is greater clarity around the situation in China,” Limmer says.

“We are turning down processing volumes in the very short term to reduce the future risk of significant stoppages in our plants.”

Limmer says the coronovirus health emergency combined with the timing of the China New Year holiday has impacted trade: China businesses, ports and government departments are operating at restricted capacity.

“People are under movement restrictions and in many cases cannot get to work, or back home, potentially for at least another week,” he says. 

“With congestions at port, movements of product into China are being disrupted with delays becoming a reality We are having to hold product in New Zealand which had already been produced for China. 

“This has begun to place significant stress on all cold storage facilities across New Zealand If the situation continues for an extended period of time our cold stores will become full, and that will impact our ability to continue processing in some plants.”

Chinese officials have confirmed over 7,700 cases of the mysterious illness as foreign governments, including New Zealand, are airlifting their citizens out of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter.

Some parts of China including Wuhan have movement restrictions in place. The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

More like this

China lockdowns hit dairy demand

Covid restrictions in China are likely to slightly dampen milk powder imports into that country, according to Stefan Vogel, Rabobank research general manager for Australia and New Zealand.

NZ farmers can lead carbon conscious food production - SFF

Silver Fern Farms says it welcomes the release of the Emissions Reduction Plan and looks forward to working with the Government, industry and farmer suppliers to ensure New Zealand is the food producer of choice in a low carbon world.

National

Live export experts ignored

National's animal welfare spokesperson Nicola Grigg claims the Government completely ignored compelling evidence from cattle breeders, vets and export industry…

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…

Pigtail standards made to last

Feedback from farmers highlighted frustration at the time and cost involved in frequently replacing failed pigtail posts.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Say what?

OPINION: This old mutt almost choked while chewing his bone when he happened upon the latest politically-correct advice that’s been…

Why bother?

OPINION: A mate of the Hound’s recently applied for membership with Ashburton-based farm supply co-operative Ruralco.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter