Feasibility study into artisan meat processing on KI

PRIME LAMBS: Stock agents prepare composite rams fro sale at last year's Bark Hut stud ram sale on Kangaroo Island. File photo
PRIME LAMBS: Stock agents prepare composite rams fro sale at last year's Bark Hut stud ram sale on Kangaroo Island. File photo

A feasibility study into artisan meat processing on Kangaroo Island is underway to assess how locally grown and processed red meat can feed the island.

The State Government has partnered with Livestock SA to commit almost $30,000 to appoint BDO EconSearch to conduct an independent feasibility study into artisan meat processing options on KI.

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie meanwhile has called on both the major parties to commit to a $6 million Federal Government loan so a private operator can upgrade the Normanville Abattoirs to an export standard facility.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tim Whetstone said the KI artisan processing study was an important step following positive public feedback to a discussion paper released late last year.

"The Marshall Liberal Government delivered on an election commitment to assess options for artisan meat processing on Kangaroo Island and we received overwhelming feedback there is strong demand for local livestock to be processed on the island," Mr Whetstone said.

"The feasibility study is to determine whether there is a clear path forward for small scale meat processing on Kangaroo Island, saving local farmers thousands of dollars.

"BDO EconSearch will consult with industry stakeholders, industry associations, Kangaroo Island Council, potential providers, butchers, restaurants and hotels located on the island."

Key things to be considered as part of the feasibility study for artisan meat processing on KI include: current distribution of meat and meat products, outlook for livestock production, current and future demand for locally produced meat and meat products and construction and operating costs of alternative meat processing facilities.

Minister Whetstone said the success of the initial consultation has led to calls from Fleurieu farmers, which have been advanced by Liberal Mayo candidate Georgina Downer, to be included in any consideration of local artisan meat production.

"In a separate but complementary process, my department will accept submissions from businesses, industry associations and local government on the Fleurieu Peninsula and elsewhere, and will assess those against the findings of the BDO Econsearch Kangaroo Island feasibility study, which is due to be finalised in May," said Minister Whetstone.

Liberal candidate for Mayo, Georgina Downer speaking at the Kangaroo Island Liberal Party branch meeting earlier this month.

Liberal candidate for Mayo, Georgina Downer speaking at the Kangaroo Island Liberal Party branch meeting earlier this month.

Liberal candidate for Mayo, Georgina Downer said Kangaroo Island is well known for its high-quality produce, but without a meat processing facility on the island, producers must transport stock to an accredited mainland processor and back again as meat, which adds to production costs.

"I commend the Marshall Liberal Government and Livestock SA for working together to explore every option to restore commercially viable local processing of locally raised livestock on both Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu," Ms Downer said.

Normanville solution

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has called on both the major parties to commit to a $6 million Federal Government loan so a private operator can upgrade the Normanville Abattoirs to an export standard facility.

Ms Sharkie made the call this week following a recent meeting with representatives Ternakan Kamran Exports (TKE), the Malaysian owners of the abattoir, and a further visit to the site.

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie stands outside the now closed Normanville Abattoir off Hay Flat Road at Normanville.

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie stands outside the now closed Normanville Abattoir off Hay Flat Road at Normanville.

Mr Sharkie said agriculture was one of the biggest economic drivers in the Yankalilla region and livestock production is the biggest contributor to that sector.

"Abattoir jobs are local jobs, secure jobs that will address employment issues in our community while also improving competition for our farmers on the Fleurieu and on Kangaroo Island," she said.

Ternakan Kamran (TK) is a Malaysian-based global company that has been operating since the 1920s.

Its SA-based arm, Ternakan Kamran Exports, bought the Normanville abattoir in 2015 and has spent the past three years developing a "rebuilding" proposal for the site.

The company has spent nearly $3 million on the $10 million proposal and is seeking government assistance for capital upgrades through grants or a loan.

If the project goes ahead, the rebuilt abattoir is expected to generate 30 full-time equivalent jobs in the first phase with an extra 30 FTE jobs after phase two.

Phase one of the project aims to upgrade the abattoir to process 5500 lambs, mutton and goats a week.

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