Works staff still in limbo after China labelling row
Sheep and lamb processing remains on hold at Alliance Group's Pukeuri plant, north of Oamaru, with the immediate future of more than 200 staff still in limbo.
Alliance Group announced earlier this month it had temporarily ceased processing sheep and lamb at the plant, having had its certification for exports to China suspended by the Ministry of Primary Industries in July, after a container was shipped containing cartons that were labelled incorrectly.
Chinese market access regulations require a label on both the inside and outside of the carton, but the affected cartons were only labelled on the outside.
The matter relates only to labelling and not the meat itself.
The problems were caused by administrative errors at Alliance Group, which have since been dealt with.
Alliance Group general manager of processing Kerry Stevens said the company was no closer to finding a resolution for the 240 affected staff.
"We haven't got an exact time frame, no. We are working hard to try and resolve it as soon as possible."
While Mr Stevens was unable to provide an exact date for staff to return to the plant, he was hopeful the situation would be resolved "in the next couple of weeks".
He said the current situation was far from ideal and the company sympathised with those affected.
"The situation is frustrating and it's regrettable it's occurred. We are trying to have the suspension of the certification resolved as soon as possible."
In the meantime, sheep and lamb will be processed at the Smithfield plant in Timaru, which will enable the company to continue to service its customers in China.
Bobby calves continue to be processed at Pukeuri.
- © Fairfax NZ News