HONG KONG: The Tasmanian Government has provided a $50,000 grant to develop a business case for a new King Island multispecies abattoir.
King Island beef producer and brand champion Roger Clemons said it was now more important to get a reliable shipping service.
JBS closed its King Island meatworks in 2012 and now kills cattle from King Island at its main Tasmanian abattoir at Longford for the premium brand.
Mr Clemons said about a third of the cattle JBS processed at Longford were shipped from King Island, and the branding and marketing was working well.
But Mr Clemons said the shipping service from the island remained a big concern.
He said SeaRoad Holdings had altered the schedule from Grassy to Devonport twice in the past three weeks, and it had disrupted the whole supply chain.
“Monday is kill day for King Island,” Mr Clemons said.
“This week SeaRoad decided to reverse the sailing so there are no cattle coming into this plant on Monday, which is causing a great deal of stress, not only to producers but to the processor here because that’s a kill day they won’t have.
“If you’re going to have a beef brand it needs to be supplied 52 weeks of the year to the customers. Otherwise they look for another brand or another product.
“Once again we get back to shipping and getting the product off here in a timely and economical manner.”