New abattoir proposed by Tasmanian farmers’ co-op to stem loss of Devonport facility

Farmers fed up with abattoirs closing in Tasmania have decided to take the matter into their own hands with more than 40 producers and retailers coming together to form the Tasmanian Farmers’ Co-operative.

The idea is to build a multi-species abattoir and meat brand.

The farmers said they had been left with no choice after multinational business JB Swift (JBS) closed the state’s largest service-kill facility, Devonport City Abattoir (DCA) two weeks ago.

“This committee will put our proposals [including a co-operative-run abattoir] to the Government to rectify short-term and long-term the concerns of the red meat industry in Tasmania,” committee chairman Bradley Rigney said.

The DCA was the only major abattoir in the state that would slaughter animals on demand for local butchers, Woolworths, and for niche producers.

“We were selling 15 head of cattle a week that were being processed through Devonport City Abattoir,” Mr Rigney said.

“That was worth about $20,000 a week to us as smaller producers.

“That’s about a million dollars a year, which is a big loss to take.”

Tasmanian grass-fed beef attracts a premium for brands that have capitalised on its high quality.

Tasmanian grass-fed beef attracts a premium for brands that have capitalised on its high quality.

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