DEVONPORT CITY, Australia – JBS Australia plans to permanently cease operations at its Devonport City Abattoir in Tasmania, Australia, on Nov. 15.
The Devonport plant processes most of Tasmania’s pigs in addition to some lamb, sheep and a small number of cattle. JBS Australia has operated the facility since 2008 as a kill facility for customer who supply their own livestock for processing. More than 100 employees work at the plant.
JBS Australia agreed to operate the plant until Nov. 15 so that the Tasmanian state government could begin discussions with industry the possibility of another company operating the plant’s swine line. Peter Gutwein, Minister for State Growth said, “…The pig industry is an important part of the Tasmanian agricultural sector and the government will immediately begin work with the Tasmanian Island Pork Alliance, the TFGA, pork producers and those affected to help develop a viable longer-term processing model.”
Gutwein added that other processing facilities should be able to accommodate lamb, sheep and cattle processing facilities on or off the island. However, government officials may need to explore other options for lamb producer as the impact of the plant closure could be more significant, he added.
“The government will now work with JBS to support its workforce to transition, where possible, to another operator or other employment and skills development opportunities in the region,” Gutwein said. “The government is focused on ensuring to the greatest possible extent the State maintains viable on-island meat processing capacity as well as the local jobs that it supports.”
The Tasmanian government budgeted A$1 million for 2018 to increase trade, marketing, value and sales of Tasmanian meat as part of a pastures and livestock productivity project announced in December 2017.