WOOLWORTHS, the nation’s largest red meat retailer, has completed a deal with Teys Australia to get a service kill done for Woolies’ northern beef supply chain at the Teys Beenleigh plant.
The move follows the recent surprise announcement that Woolworths’ long-standing northern supply chain processor, Churchill abattoir, will close. Beef Central disclosed the news about the Churchill closure in this earlier article.
The last Woolworths kill at Churchill takes place on 28 September, with operations shifting to Beenleigh from October 2.
The new killing arrangements are described as an ‘interim’ measure at this stage, and Woolworths plans to open an expressions of interest process to interested parties for a more permanent service kill arrangement some time in the near future.
Beef Central picked Teys Beenleigh as the likely beneficiary of the Woolworths business in this earlier article. That was based on a number of factors:
- Teys already has a close service kill relationship with Woolworths through the company’s Tamworth (NSW) beef plant, currently totally dedicated to a Woolies kill of 4000 head per week
- Beenleigh is well located to supply Woolworths massive distribution centre south of Brisbane
- It is also conveniently located to the Woolworths Brismeat portion cutting, packaging and value-adding facility, located adjacent to the Churchill plant.
Like almost every meat processing in Australia, the Teys Beenleigh plant has been operating on greatly reduced daily kill tallies, and reduced shifts per week for the past year, due to the drought-induced national herd decline to 20-year lows.
Beenleigh has been operating at well below its operating capacity of 1550 a day, with kills around 1400 per day this year, and four-day kills per week as well. Overall, plant throughput has been reduced by 20-25 percent.
It means that Teys will welcome the opportunity to perform a service kill for Woolworths with open arms.
Woolworths national head of red meat, Pat McEntee, told Beef Central that Woolworths was absolutely committed to its long-term partnerships with cattle suppliers and feedlot operators in Queensland, and that would continue unchanged under the new kill arrangements.
“Teys is a terrific partner of ours, and has been for over 20 years,” Mr McEntee said. “Teys knows our business well – they already know our boning specs and other requirements. They know the ‘Woolies way’,” he said.
In round terms, the Woolworths northern beef supply chain accounts for 500-600 head per day, providing the opportunity for Teys Beenleigh to move closer to its normal killing capacity – a big consideration from a plant efficiency perspective.
Monday: Hilton Foods Australia unveils plans for its new purpose-built meat portion-cutting, packaging and value-added products facility south of Brisbane. The facility, which will replace the current Brismeat facility next to Churchill abattoir, will be built under a partnership arrangement with Woolworths.