Twelve months as a Director of WA’s Meat Marketing Cooperative has given North Stirling sheep and lamb producer Bill O’Keeffe some important new perspectives on the meat processing industry.
“For many years we were probably entitled to complain about poor returns received from processors.
“But today processors and producers share risks, red tape and tight margins and there is increasing need for us to cooperate to succeed,” he said.
Since his election to the WAMMCO board in October, last year Mr O’Keeffe has been a strong supporter of widening producer appreciation of its cooperative charter and the increasing opportunities and challenges it faces.
He is urging farmers in the Borden area to attend the first of a series of WAMMCO information days at the Borden Pavilion on Thursday September 19.
“The Borden session will discuss how WAMMCO is developing some of the world’s most sophisticated high-value markets and how they can contribute. Producers prepared to tap the information and to help develop the products, can also expect to share increased benefits.”
Mr O’Keeffe said the expanding range of end product, the diversity of markets it was reaching, the technology assisting its development and the readiness of consumers to pay, were all eye openers for lamb and sheepmeat producers.
“In exchange, consumers are demanding accreditation for grain and pasture fed product, for further value adding, as well as strict compliance with animal welfare, chemcal and hormone standards.
“These are changes WAMMCO is building into its charter, that will not only cut costs, but carry our reputation for product quality and safety to an even higher level.
“Early compliance will also ensure a solid base for much-needed expansion in the lamb industry and increase our confidence in dealing with new calls for greater scrutiny.”
Mr O’Keeffe said producers should also keep abreast of the ongoing technological changes taking place at WAMMCO’s Katanning and Goulburn processing plants.
“Whether it is a case of dramatically extending the shelf life of our products, protecting our workers from injury, using biogas and re-cycling onsite to be more self sufficient in power and water, - as well as clean and green - every opportunity and need is under review, under construction, or in the final stages of completition.”
Like many of his fellow farmers in the Gnowangerup/Borden area, Bill O’Keeffe’s parents took up virgin land in the mid-1950’s. Today, he wife Kate and family produce 6,500 Merino ewes and hoggetts, 1,200 “Prolific’ high fertility breeders, 4,000 crossbred and 3,000 Merino lambs, along with a 450 bale wool clip.
Media Release 28/07/2022 Western Australia’s largest sheep and lamb processing cooperative will return a record $8.4 million in pool bonuses to its producer members at the end of August 2022. The 2021/22 ...Read more
Media Release 14/07/22 Des Griffiths, an early CEO of the WA Meat Marketing Cooperative, credited with helping WA lamb producers to reshape an influential global lamb processing and marketing cooperative, passed ...Read more
Media Release (20-06-2022) Recently appointed Livestock Manager for WAMMCO, Mike Curnick is looking forward to capping his 37-year career in WA’s livestock sector in the lamb and ...Read more
A distinguished career in the meat processing and livestock industry will end with the retirement of the WA Meat Marketing Cooperative’s Livestock Manager Peter Krupa on June 30. Mr ...Read more
A later than normal delivery of prime Merino/SAMM lambs straight off abundant stubbles from the bumper season, helped Tim Alexander and his family of Timaru Beverley to capture WAMMCO&...Read more