Cattle sale day at the saleyards in Casino, northern NSW.
Cattle sale day at the saleyards in Casino, northern NSW.

Jobs on offer at Casino meatworks after ‘little slowdown’

THE Northern Co-operative Meat Company is doing well despite tough market conditions for meat processors.

Record livestock prices have been forcing some abattoirs in New South Wales to cancel shifts or shut down operations in the short term.

Chief executive officer Simon Stahl said the abattoir based at Casino was being impacted by a reduction in demand due to congestion in China and reduced supply because of wet weather.

Recent wet weather has seen the price of young cattle double in the first two months of 2020 and producers are keeping their livestock to rebuild herds after the drought.

Over the past month at the Casino abattoir, the production rate dropped by one day per week on average.

“In short periods people don’t mind four-day weeks, especially when we try to give them the Friday or Monday off,” he said.

“That’s the nature of agriculture.

“We’ve been doing overtime when it was very busy, now there’s a little slowdown as seasons correct themselves.”

Mr Stahl said the downturn in production would likely continue until the back end of the year, but he was optimistic about the economic outlook.

“We have a shortage in the short term, but the rain is so good for the long-term,” he said.

“We’ve been held up with product getting to China, and now things seems to be going in the right direction. More product is moving through the ports. The majority of China is getting back to work.”

All staff have kept their jobs, and the meatworks is even hiring staff.

The company is hiring meat processing labourers, skilled boners and knife hands, and an operations manager via the jobseeking site Jora.