Leading food and solutions co-operative Alliance Group is investing $4 million to lift its beef processing capacity in the South Island.
The company will invest further in its 18-month-old venison plant at Lorneville near Invercargill to enable the facility to also process cull cows during peak season.
David Surveyor, chief executive of Alliance Group, said the investment is a key part of the co-operative’s beef growth strategy.
“As our supply volumes have continued to grow year on year, our farmers have been asking for more beef capacity in peak season. This investment recognises that need for our farmers.
“It means we will be able to make a meaningful difference for our farmers by processing some cull cows at Lorneville and freeing up space at Mataura for prime steer, heifer and bull.
“It is also a win for deer farmers because we will be increasing our venison processing capacity at the Lorneville plant.”
Alliance Group has been investing in strengthening its beef performance at its Mataura, Levin and Pukeuri plants, which processed record numbers of cattle during the 2018-19 season.
“We are serious about delivering on our strategy of investing in maximising our operational performance to benefit farmer-shareholders and create a stronger co-operative,” says Mr Surveyor.
“The beef expansion demonstrates the co-operative’s continued commitment to the Lorneville site.
“The Lorneville plant, which also includes ovine processing, is one of the largest sites in New Zealand, employing almost 2,000 people in total at peak capacity. We are planning additional investment to future-proof the operation and improve its long-term competitiveness.”
The co-operative is also investing in the development of a premium beef portfolio, he says.
The beef processing expansion at Lorneville should be in place by next season.