WAMMCO has finished 2017 with a November kill of just under 90,000 sheep and lambs, but an average weight loss of 2.2 kg per head below November 2016, due to the testing season for producers.
CEO Coll MacRury said the cooperative had been able to offset the cost to its producer members of lighter lambs, by achieving and passing on historically high, global prices for quality lambs.
“WAMMCO was able to offer forward contract prices back in June for lambs delivered to us from November to February 2018, that predicted a strong global demand, based mainly on our membership of the Australian Lamb Cooperative which markets prime lamb into North America.
“Our weight and grade prices on offer to producers were also at historical highs during the season, and we are hoping for the further bonus of a trading rebate to qualifying producer members in August 2018, if the bouyant conditions continue.”
The Katanning plant will close for the Christmas break after the last kill for the year on December 21, with the first slaughter for the new year scheduled for January 2.
Plant manager Tony Bessell said a plentiful supply of stock had helped WAMMCO to a bouyant production for November of nearly 90,000 units, of which 23,000 were mutton.
However average lamb weights were down for the second consecutive month because of tough conditions since mid season.
The Katanning plant had worked ten consecutive Saturdays with new elements of the processing system performing up to and beyond expectation and global customers expressing support for WAMMCO’s extended and upgraded quality and range of product.
Mr Bessell said directors of the cooperative had approved a major upgrade of the plant’s power capacity from 2,000 to 4,000 KVA to accommodate further automation of plant and equipment.
Modifications to the refrigeration system had been completed and improvements to the boning process and raw material disposal systems were scheduled for attention in the new year.
He expected market access issues to continue in 2018.
“New trade treaties and changes to import regulations for our customers, have resulted in food importers conducting their own audits and approvals for plants such as Katanning. This requires our compliance, whilst also upholding Australian meat standards.
Tony said WAMMCO had signed up for a television advertising campaign with GWN to run from January to June 2018 to keep the cooperative’s activities and benefits before producers.
“We are also keen to encourage many more of our producers to visit the Katanning plant to watch their stock being processed in 2018.”
A visit to WAMMCO Katanning was included for 10 trainees in a national training course run in WA during November by Primaries/Ruralco. Trainees from all states also saw the Katanning saleyards in operation.
Further details: Coll MacRury 0409371295 Tony Bessell 98219000 Media Geoff Gare 0414683531