Beef City back in business

Jon Condon, 15/07/2011

JBS Australia re-opened its Beef City dedicated grainfed export abattoir near Toowoomba today, two weeks after the plant was laid dormant by lack of demand and poor profitability in heavy export cattle.

Slaughtering recommenced this morning, with a full boning room shift due to commence on Monday morning.

Some fears were expressed in the local Toowoomba community that the shut-down might lead to a more permanent closure, jeopardising about 1100 full-time jobs.

In late June JBS Australia announced the temporary closure of Beef City due to adverse trading conditions for grainfed beef in Japan.

It was the first time in the plant’s 35 year history that the plant had to close due to trading conditions.

A company statement at the time said the decision was reached due to the combined impact of a high Australian Dollar, ever-increasing labour costs without corresponding increases in productivity and higher Government charges such as AQIS fees making Australian beef (both grassfed and grainfed) uncompetitive in international markets.

Cheaper US beef, driven by currency movements, was rapidly taking the place of Australian beef on shelves across North Asian markets, the JBS statement said.


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