JBS shutters second lamb plant, as livestock supply issues intensify

Jon Condon, 16/03/2017

JBS Australia will temporarily close a second southern lamb processing plant this week, and plans to extend the current closure at the company’s Longford, Tasmania lamb chain by an additional month.

JBS logoAs Sheep Central reports today , the company’s Cobram lamb facility on the Murray River west of Melbourne will close for four weeks, with last kills scheduled for today, 16 March. The plant’s 290 staff, and unions, were informed of the decision this morning.

Cobram can process up to 3200 grass and grainfed lambs a day, as well as hogget and mutton.

The Cobram decision follows a JBS announcement last month that the company’s Longford lamb chain would close for four weeks, due to livestock supply challenges. That decision did not affect Longford’s beef chain, which continues to operate. The Longford lamb closure has now been extended by four weeks.

While JBS does periodically have short seasonal maintenance shutdowns at this time of year in its southern operations, the Cobram closure is a stand-down, consistent with the plant’s Enterprise Agreement with staff.

Both the Cobram closure, and that at Longford – which is technically a temporary closure, rather than a staff stand-down – will be reviewed in another four weeks, staff were told.  A re-opening at both facilities will be examined for week commencing April 24, Beef Central understands.


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