Wednesday, 28 August 2019 09:55

Fairton for final chop

Written by 
Silver Fern Farms says it is planning to close the pelt processing operation. Silver Fern Farms says it is planning to close the pelt processing operation.

It sounds like the death rattle is signalled for the former Fairton meat processing plant near Ashburton.

Silver Fern Farms (SFF) last week said it is planning to close the pelt processing operation there following a review and staff consultation.

“All the 44 people processing pelts at the Fairton site and four preparing pelts at Pareora have been presented with potential redundancy, as well as with work options at other Silver Fern Farms sites in the region,” the company said in a statement.

SFF closed the Fairton sheepmeat processing plant in May 2017 following a decline in regional sheep numbers.

“Continued low sheepmeat numbers in the South Island have also led to... excess pelt processing capacity in the South Island,” the company said. “Pelt processors are also seeing low returns from the global market.”

These factors, coupled with high overhead costs due to the large site, are making pelt processing unsustainable at Fairton, SFF says.

“This will mean the company can consolidate its South Island pelts at its Finegand (Dunedin) pelt preparation facility, bringing efficiency gains through this early part of the pelting process.”

The company also claims it has investigated alternative processing options with others in the industry. 

“Should this proposal proceed following consultation, SFF intends to consolidate its volumes through other pelt processors for mutual benefit.”

The company says it is offering support to the 44 people at Fairton and those in four roles at Pareora affected by the proposed closure.

A final decision is expected at the end of August.

More like this

Brexit will remove some uncertainty

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on Friday and the beginning of trade negotiations between the two blocs removes come uncertainty for NZ’s meat industry.

Making it OK to ask for help

Meat processing company Alliance has started an employee support programme aimed at getting colleagues to look after each other and keep an eye out for possible mental health issues.

Featured

$26m boost to rural health

The government has announced a $300 million dollar capital investment in health, with $26 million going to regional and rural service projects.

New levy to hit farmers

The New Zealand Agricultural Aviation Association (NZAAA) is up in arms about a proposed new safety levy.

 

Winegrower wins a Nuffield

For the first time in 45 years, a member of New Zealand’s wine industry has won a Nuffield Scholarship.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Says it all!

A mate of yours truly reckons one only needs to look at the gongs given out in the New Year…

Easily bought

This old mutt was not surprised to see a number of supposed ag industry ‘thought leaders’ (a pompous title if…

» Connect with Rural News