A slow down in stock will see meatworks close early for Christmas
A slow down in stock will see meatworks close early for Christmas Bev Lacey

Casino meat processor shuts doors early for Christmas

AN UNDERSUPPLY of livestock has forced the local meatworks to bring its Christmas shutdown forward.

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company (NCMC) has informed staff that while there will be no retrenchments of permanent staff, affected casual workers will be stood down in a week's time.

Chief Executive Officer Simon Stahl said a stock decline of 30% meant they were unable to operate at peak capacity.

"Australia has gone from a 35 year high in herd numbers to a 20 year low in just two years," he said.

"NCMC is still in a sound position and we have expected and planned for this seasonal downturn."

Mr Stahl said Australian beef processors have been operating at 30% above normal capacity for the last two and a half years as producers have had to respond to the ongoing drought conditions by turning in their cattle for processing.

With a more positive outlook over most of NSW farmers have now turned back to herd-building.

NCMC will run one processing floor for beef and veal for the rest of the year and reassess the situation in January.

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