The Western Australian Meat Marketing Co-operative Limited was incorporated as a Limited Company under the provisions of the Western Australian Companies (Co-operative) Act 1943-1982 on the 11 June 1999, principally to take over the activities of the Corporation. The new company was producer owned and controlled, unfettered by Government legislation.
On July 31st 1999, the Co-operative purchased the Western Australian abattoir assets of Metro Meat International Limited. These assets were the Linley Valley (est. 1027) and Katanning (est. 572) export abattoirs. The majority of the Metro Meat employees transferred to the Co-operative, thus ensuring their considerable processing knowledge and skills were retained.
On August 16th 1999, through the proclamation of the Marketing of Meat Amendment Act 1999, the Western Australian Meat Marketing Co-operative Limited commenced trading.
The Amendment Act provided for the winding-up of the Corporation and the transfer of its business, assets and liabilities (including the WAMMCO International brand name) to the new Co-operative, which also retained statutory acquisition of export lambs until December 31st 1999. After that date, compulsory acquisition ceased to exist.
The transition from statutory to free market acquisition was not an easy one and the Co-operative commenced a major restructure in October 2000 , including senior management changes and the rationalisation of assets. The Linley Valley abattoir and Spearwood processing plant, together with the West Perth Head Office building, were sold. The Katanning plant was upgraded to a "state of the art" facility producing all the Co-operative's requirements. A decision was also made to build the Co-operative's core business as the "value adding" of premium quality lamb.
In June 2003 and in February 2004 , the Co-operative issued share certificates to just over 1,000 lamb producers acknowledging their membership, ownership, democratic contol and participation in the Co-operative.
Under the stewardship of Chief Executive Des Griffiths and his team, the Co-operative continued to consolidate its position in the prime lamb industry concentrating on growing its share of the North American market, whilst developing and maintaining its existing key markets. In 2005 a strategic shareholding was taken in a major North American lamb distributor to assist in securing continued access to that market.
An important milestone was reached when the Co-operative distributed its first pool bonus to members on the 1st December 2005. Since then, further bonuses have been paid each year totalling $3.8million. In 2008 the shareholder registry reached 2,000 members.
Also in 2008 the program of installing the latest technology continued with a new blood plant for by-products, a new skin processing facility as well as improvements to the stock receival area. A major redesign of the boning room is also in the planning stage. These investments will help to maximise shareholders' returns and ensure the long-term viability of the co-operative.
A first for Australia, from January 2009 WAMMCO commenced rewarding premium lamb producers an additional WAMMCO Select bonus payment The system rewarded producers delivering carcases with high lean meat yields, objectively assessed by the Viascan system. Elegible carcases received an additional 5% payment.
In April 2009, icon of the Western Australian red-meat processing industry, Des Griffiths retired. There was a smooth transition when Coll MacRury joined the Co-operative as its next Chief Executive Officer.