Two million mark at Whakatu
The Whakatu freezing works yesterday passed the two-million mark for its sheep and lamb kill.
The works has killed more than 2-million sheep and lambs in five other seasons, but both the company and the union said this season’s achievement was greater than in any other seasons because of the alterations made to the chain process as a result of hygiene regulations.
Last season 1.9-million sheep and lambs were processed.
The assistant general manager of the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Meat Company, Mr Bob Ford, said that because of the new hygiene requirements it had been difficult season.
Stunning and spear sticking was introduced along with a new process involving the treatment and inspection of heads.
He said that apart from trouble at the beginning of the season the mutton floor had been virtually free of industrial trouble.
Mr Ford said the company appreciated the help given by the union executive, men and Ministry of Agriculture inspection staff to reach the two-million mark.
“It has been a joint effort,” he said.
“We didn’t expect to get there this year.”
Mr Ford said the kill was remarkable for the number of ewes killed.
Ewes take longer to process than lambs.
Last season the 1.9-million total included 260,000 ewes. This season it included 400,000 ewes.
The deputy-chairman of the board, Mr Don Mouat, said directors were very proud and pleased with the effort by executives, staff and the Ministry.
The president of the Whakatu sub-branch of the Meat Workers’ Union, Mr Michael Kitchin, said workers had an exceptional season with record earnings.
During the season no stock was returned to farms from the works.
He was looking forward to a record production and earnings next season.
He said there had been a considerable change in attitude by the company, board and union to each other which helped tremendously in keeping production going.
Mr Ford said two of the six chains were still working.
Stock coming to the works was “tailing off,” but he did not know how long killing would continue.
Photo caption – Representatives of different sections at the Whakatu freezing works admire the two-millionth sheep and lamb carcase to be processed this season. They are from left foreman Mr Jack Hawke, works manager Mr Bruce Jenkinson, Union secretary Mr Len Heke, industrial relations manager Mr Tony Bauerfeind and assistant general manager Mr Bob Ford.