Waitane plant named meat company’s site of the year in awards

Silver Fern Farms Waitane site manager Bronwyn Cairns is proud of the 
Silver Fern Farms Waitane site manager Bronwyn Cairns is proud of the plant’s contribution to the local economy. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Silver Fern Farms’ Waitane plant, at Gore, has been named overall winner in the company’s annual site awards.

Each year, the company holds awards for its 14 processing sites across the country, and the categories cover sustainability, health and safety, customer and quality, productivity, people and its business improvement programme Streamline, as well as best site by beef, sheep, and venison.

The Waitane site won the health, safety and wellness, Streamline, and best sheep plant awards, and was the overall winner for best site.

The company’s Kennington site won the sustainability award and best venison plant.

Silver Fern Farms general manager operations Mark Leslie said present high farmgate pricing did not tell the full story of an otherwise challenging year for red meat processing.

‘‘Over the course of the year we’ve juggled many unprecedented challenges including the impact of Covid restrictions and being around 550 people short across our site network,’’ he said.

‘‘Our ability to continue performing as we have can be put down to resilience and resourcefulness of staff across our 14 processing sites.’’

Waitane site manager Bronwyn Cairns said it was very pleasing for the staff to have recognition for all their efforts this year.

‘‘We’re really proud of the contribution we’re making to the business and industry, but we’re also really proud of our contribution to the local economy.

‘‘At Waitane alone, we’re processing over 360,000 stock units a year which is enough to fill up around 900 containers.

‘‘In an average year, we pay out over $10million in local wages and salaries and over $35million in livestock payments to local farmer suppliers.’’

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