Some of Cobram’s 200 sacked JBS workers may find a lifeline in HW Greenham and Sons’ recent acquisition of the Moe Meatworks.
Hundreds of JBS abattoir workers were left devastated and looking for work after the Brazilian-based meat processor shut the doors of its Cobram plant late last month.
Currently operating abattoirs in Smithton, Tasmania and in Tongala, Greenham has agreed to purchase the former HY Moe Meat site in the Latrobe Valley for an undisclosed sum.
Closed since 2015, the meatworks will require about 100 staff, with Greenham aiming to utilise the knowledge of former employees and local workers where possible.
Managing director Peter Greenham Jnr said the company would look at any meat workers willing to make the move from Cobram.
‘‘The Latrobe Valley is quite a distance from Cobram but we’re looking to employ 100 people initially, with the potential for more down the track,’’ Mr Greenham said.
‘‘Lamb was processed in Cobram so this would be different, but we think the Cobram meat processors would be able to adapt.’’
Mr Greenham said the Moe operation would complement Greenham’s existing operation.
‘‘It’s in an excellent region for producing quality cattle and the plant is set up to process them,’’ he said.
Greenham plans to offer its standard 36-hour payment terms to all ‘over-the-hooks’ purchases to assist with cash flow to farm businesses.
There are also plans to open several live-weight buying centres — local weekly scales where producers receive payment on the spot for their cattle.
A start date for production is planned for mid-November.
- David Rak