Meat still being processed in Level 2

An Alliance Group worker inspects meat in the company’s Lorneville plant, near Invercargill, last...
An Alliance Group worker inspects meat in the company’s Lorneville plant, near Invercargill, last year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Southern meat processing staff have ‘‘stepped up’’ to continue working during alert levels but global supply chain issues remain.

Alliance Group manufacturing general manager Willie Wiese said Alliance Group was processing livestock under Delta Alert Level 2 protocols at all its plants including Lorneville, Mataura and Pukeuri.

The protocol included maintaining physical distancing, increased cleaning and disinfection of processing areas, using personal protective equipment and closing sites to non-essential people.

“We’re really proud of our people who are once more stepping up in tough times in the best interests of the country. We know some people will be concerned about coming to work during this challenging period. That’s why the safety standards we set are so important.’’

The peak processing season in late November included an ‘‘important’’ chilled lamb programme to markets in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Alliance continued to be impacted by the global supply chain issues caused by Covid-19 including container shortages, off-schedule vessels, delayed transit times, and port productivity, Mr Wiese said.

No significant improvement in the supply chain situation was anticipated in the short term.

‘‘Our sales and logistics teams are working hard to ensure our products arrive in line with our customer commitments, particularly our retail chilled programmes.”

Silver Fern Farms spokesman Dave Courtney said most of its plants continued to operate through the alert levels as a designated essential service.

Operating teams used the experience operating in Level 4 last year to quickly establish the necessary protocols and install the supporting equipment to allow its staff to operate and remain safe.

The protocol to operate safely in Level 2 included cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, use of personal protective equipment such as masks, visors and screens, and supporting the vaccination of staff.

‘‘We are confident we will be able to operate safely, comply with the government protocols and meet the needs of our suppliers and customers.’’

The Finegand plant in Balclutha remains shut for planned maintenance, he said.

A key focus for the Finegand plant was meeting new requirements under Level 2 and being able to get contractors from Auckland to do some of the pending maintenance work.

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