Lamb production in Tasmania has continued without incident this season, despite the loss of one processing facility.
Mixed-enterprise producer Rob Tole farms lambs and crops at his 550-hectare Cressy property Greenvale.
Although Greenvale is close to the JBS Australia’s Longford abattoir, he said the processor’s sheep line closure would not impact his operation.
“We send most of our lambs over the water to be slaughtered for the past four years,” Mr Tole said.
“It works best both for my business and the way we are structured.
“A lot of producers will be able to work around it,” he said.
Tasmania’s lamb industry is still strong, with producers attracting good sale prices for new season stock.
“There’s a good lamb trade now. The lamb industry is still in a very strong position when you look at prices,” Mr Tole said.
“For us to keep investing in our business we need those prices.
“Everyone needs to make a good margin along the way, and hopefully the consumer is still willing to pay a good price for our lamb, which is some of the best in the world. It’s great that people are still buying lamb,” he said.
While Mr Tole and his fellow producers have made other arrangements for lamb processing, he said the Longford community would feel the ramifications of JBS Australia’s decision.
“The biggest impact is on the local community and those 40 workers who lost their jobs,” Mr Tole said.
“It’s not good for the Northern Midlands community, but hopefully things will change and there’s other opportunities.
“It’s one processor that has made a commercial decision. That’s what JBS has got to do to remain viable.”