Casino meatworks well placed to ride out the pandemic
DIVERSITY of products is what keeps Casino meatworks ahead of the game in an industry which has just shed 600 jobs in Queensland.
Northern Co-operative Meat Company Chief Executive Officer Simon Stahl was upbeat on Friday when speaking at the announcement of federal funding for the company's upgraded production facilities.
Recently, fellow major meatworks company JBS made the decision to lay off workers 600 workers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Stahl was optimistic that NCMC had built enough new avenues to secure its future moving forward.
"It's diversity, just putting that extra bit in the process creates income so it does absolutely give us a better future, we're doing the same with our pork facility so it's very important to keep innovating and moving up the supply chain for us," he said.
Key to that diversification is NCMC's addition of retail ready package which can be exported worldwide.
"Few years ago there was some interest in producing retail ready packaging out of an export establishment to go overseas so we started investing in that equipment, a couple of years ago we were fortunate to grow that business and grow the domestic offering … it's an important extension of our business."
Mr Stahl was optimistic about the company's prospects with international trade despite issues with China.
"Before COVID, China was say 10 per cent of our business, during COVID when China was the only market open, there was a little bit more product going to China," he said.
"We've got to diversify, there's plenty of other opportunities out there, we've got free trades to Indonesia and we've got free trades with the TPP and that's an exciting prospect and Britain and EU this year so while we never want to be out of any market, I prefer to look on the positive side."
The coronavirus pandemic remains the biggest impact on NCMC operations.
"The biggest interruption to us has been COVID, part of our business is wet blue hides which is a tannery that we have and those sales collapsed in March of this year."