Meatworks plans for Chathams

GERALD PIDDOCK
Last updated 10:08 18/10/2012

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The viability of a meat processing plant on the Chatham Islands will be decided by its farmers later this month following the completion of a study into the feasibility of the facility.

The study was finished last Friday and will be presented to the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust committee later this week.

From there it will be discussed with the islands' farmers and other interest groups over the next fortnight, Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust chief executive Brian Harris said.

The report outlined several scenarios for the future of livestock processing on the islands, including the construction of a processing plant and a facility for marketing and packaging the product around a unique Chatham Islands brand.

Another option was dressing the carcass on the islands, with further processing carried out on the mainland.

It would mean big changes for some of the farmers on the islands if a plant were built. Most grew store stock and some would have to change and become finishers for the plant to be viable.

Currently all of the livestock there are shipped to the mainland where it is sold at the Temuka Saleyards or in Napier.

He believed any effect on those saleyards would be negligible.

If a plant were built, there would still be farmers wanting to send their stock to the saleyards to be sold.

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