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Kimberley Meat Company abattoir to reopen in WA as restructure is shelved

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A daring plan to revive northern Western Australia’s solely abattoir by way of the formation of a brand new meat cooperative has been placed on maintain because of a scarcity of trade assist for a proposed restructure.

The Kimberley Meat Firm (KMC) facility — positioned about 100 kilometres from Broome — was mothballed final yr.

It adopted record-high cattle costs, provide shortages, and seasonally low costs within the US beef trim market, the place the abattoir provided about 50 per cent of its floor beef.

KMC, owned by Yeeda Pastoral Firm (YPC), has since been in discussions with greater than a dozen trade gamers about restructuring the abattoir’s possession association to a cooperative mannequin to breathe new life into the ability.

YPC’s new chief govt officer David Larkin mentioned the processing facility would re-open this month however would proceed to function as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Yeeda.

“It is nonetheless a plan that is on the desk however just a few issues have to come back collectively for it to work.

“Both approach, we’re not involved … we’re wanting ahead to opening it.”

An aerial of cattle yards and processing facility surrounded by green pasture
KMC’s facility contains freehold land and processing buildings.(Equipped: Yeeda Pastoral Firm)

Main gamers pull out

Galati Group’s retail retailer, Spudshed, was amongst stakeholders engaged with KMC’s cooperative proposal, with plans to produce beef from the abattoir to its retail shops throughout WA.

Galati Group chief govt officer Tony Galati mentioned that whereas he remained desirous about getting a cooperative off the bottom, the corporate had pulled away from an funding dedication.

Tony Galati Spud Shed owner pictured in a field.
Galati Group CEO Tony Galati was amongst main gamers concerned within the co-op talks.(ABC Information: Robert Koenig-Luck)

“We have a lot taking place in the mean time because of COVID-19 and different points and our enlargement price and we have simply put it on maintain,” he mentioned.

“We’re not prepared for it.”

Mr Galati mentioned he would revisit discussions surrounding the cooperative throughout the subsequent yr.

Pastoralists welcome reopening

Whereas the proposed abattoir restructure didn’t garner sufficient trade funding, pastoralists have welcomed YPC’s plans to revive the mothballed abattoir this season.

The corporate has set the ability’s reopening date for April 26, with a processing goal of 40,000 head of cattle this yr, and 60,000 head in 2023.

David Stoate, with heifer, Anna Plains, Kimberley, Western Australia
Anna Plains station supervisor David Stoate is comfortable to see the abattoir reopened regardless.(Anna Plains: Anna Plains)

David Stoate owns Anna Plains station, about 250 kilometres south of Broome, and mentioned the reopening would give pastoralists an alternate choice to carting livestock 1000’s of kilometres to southern processors in WA’s south-west.

“A very powerful factor is that the abattoir retains operating up right here within the north.

“There was robust purchaser curiosity from the processors within the south so it will not make an excessive amount of of a distinction to the underside line of pastoralists this yr, however we might all prefer to see it preserve going and preserve working and provides that additional competitors.

“It is quite a bit much less distance to truck your cattle.”