BOURKE’S $60 million abattoir will re-open to process goats and sheep from 13 September, two years after it closed.
New owner South Australian-based Thomas Foods international will re-open the abattoir to process six-way goat and some light sheep for domestic and overseas markets.
TFI’s national smallstock manager Paul Leonard said there would be a teething period of possibly 8-10 weeks to gain accreditation for the main overseas market, North America.
It might be November before the plant wound up to 1000-1200 stock a day, increasing that to about 3000 units a day after Christmas. Mr Leonard said the plant’s full capacity could be up to 6000 stock a day
TFI is giving the abattoir and Bourke a new lease on life after purchasing the abattoir at the end of last year. The abattoir was first opened in January 2019, before being closed in May the same year, due to supply disruptions caused by drought and rain.
The company has done significant remedial work and also plans to upgrade the plant with plate freezing.
Mr Leonard said TFI had bought the town’s former motel to form an accommodation hub for staff and the abattoir’s senior management team was now housed in the western New South Wales town.
“We are set up right to go.”
Mr Leonard said he hoped that by the time that company was ready to increased production there would be improved access to visa workers to complement local workers.