Massive job boost at North Otago meatworks

The Pukeuri meat works in Oamaru handled more than 71,000 cattle in the beef season that finished...
The Pukeuri meat works north of Oamaru. Photo: Supplied
A hundred jobs will soon be offered by Oamaru’s biggest employer, the Alliance Group Pukeuri meat processing plant.

Manager Phil Shuker said there were already 800 staff on-site operating two sheep chains and one beef chain.

The third lamb chain was due to restart at the end of September or early October, subject to livestock availability, he said.

“We will be recruiting approximately 100 employees from the local community for the third chain and encourage anyone who is interested in working at the co-operative to visit our website.”

That would take Pukeuri to its peak season staff of 900.

Livestock volumes so far had been in line with expectations, Mr Shuker said.

Meanwhile, Timaru’s Smithfield plant has about 100 staff operating one venison chain, plant manager Karen Morris said.

Sheep processing had finished for the season and was expected to start again in December.

“Livestock volumes have been steady on last year, although it was a slightly slower start,” she said.

Smithfield’s peak workforce was 560 people.

Alliance Group livestock and shareholder services general manager Danny Hailes, a former Pukeuri plant manager, said the weather in the region had been kind and there was plenty of surplus feed available.

“However, it is starting to get dry and we could do with some rain.”

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