While dairy processing is growing to cope with increased supply and demand, sheep processing is retrenching.
Alliance has announced it will move sheep processing from its Mataura plant to Lorneville:
. . . Grant Cuff, Chief Executive of Alliance Group, said the change to the mix of processing across its Southland plants was vital for the co-operative, which is owned by 5,000 farmer shareholders.
“This proposal has been driven by the declining sheep and lamb numbers in the southern region and the reality that there is too much processing capacity for the amount of stock available.
“We’ve worked hard to create a sustainable complementary sheep, lamb and beef processing operation at Mataura and explored a wide range of options. However, it has become increasingly clear the future of Mataura Plant is as a beef processing plant.
“As a responsible co-operative, Alliance Group continually evaluates the best configuration of its plants, and with no material improvement in stock numbers forecast, we regrettably have to propose ceasing sheep and lamb operations at Mataura.”
Increased efficiency and lower overheads are always a priority for successful companies.
They are even more important for Alliance now in the wake of declining sheep numbers.
The removal of sheep processing from Mataura will be difficult for those who lose jobs but it is in the best interests of the company and its suppliers.
Sheep farming in Southland has decreased as dairying has increased and the latter industry might provide work for some of those facing redundancy at Mataura.