Western Australian beef and sheepmeat processor Western Meat Packers has bought the mothballed former Goodchild Abattoirs business near Bunbury, in the state’s south.
The Goodchild plant closed suddenly in 2020, and was offered to the market unsuccessfully last year by receivers.
The dual-species site has chilling capacity for 3000 sheep, or 1500 sheep and 200 cattle.
The facility is currently licensed for domestic-only, however last year’s marketing literature suggested an audit had been conducted to obtain Tier 1 export accreditation “and from the information provided, the work required is not onerous,” agents Elders said.
Following the purchase, Western Meat Packers Group has now substantially expanded its operations and geographic spread around Bunbury, and the surrounding prime cattle and lamb grazing regions.
WMP owners and directors Rod and Shana Russell said they were confident the new asset will combine well with their current operations and are committed to exploring the enhancement of the facility in obtaining a Tier 2 Export Accreditation, allowing access to markets like the US, Japan and Korea.
Family owned since 1983, the WMPG business carries a strong legacy in supplying quality beef and lamb products to the WA and international retail and food service markets.
WMPG chief executive Andrew Fuda said the newly acquired Bunbury facility would provide a stable supply of sheep and lambs for processing, as well as supplementing the company’s main beef kill at Cowaramup.
Western Meat Packers also operates a state-of-the-art boning and packing facility in Osborne Park in Perth, a specialist hi-tech packing facility at Bibra Lake, Perth Skin and Hides at Coogee and a popular ‘wholesale direct to public’ Big Butcher outlet which contains the largest dry-aging cabinet in WA.
The new Bunbury facility has a self-sufficient water source and includes a reverse osmosis plant. It includes existing spacious undercover yards with specification pens for contract butchering and is designed to comply with Halal requirements.
From modest beginnings as a small boning room, WMPG is now a fully-integrated domestic and export operation. The new acquisition will continue to extend the diversity of the whole enterprise and boost the steady recovery and expansion of WMPG, following a catastrophic fire in 2009.
Across its diverse operations the company now employs a dedicated workforce of more than 550 people.