NEW ZEALAND - Crown Research Institute AgResearch has sold its abattoir at Ruakura to specialist meat processing company Wilson Hellaby.
The sale went through on 1 December for an undisclosed price.
The staff at the meat processing plant will be kept on.
“We wanted to find an appropriate purchaser for the facility that would enhance the long-term viability of the operation and ensure the retention of jobs for our abattoir staff,” said AgResearch Shared Services Director Andrew McSweeney.
“Wilson Hellaby’s expertise as a specialist commercial operator will enable them to do this and further improve the facility’s operational performance and market share,” he said.
“We are very pleased that 17 of our 18 staff had their roles retained at the Ruakura facility by Wilson Hellaby.”
The Ruakura abattoir was upgraded to a commercial abattoir 17 years ago and has gradually shifted from being predominantly for science use to a commercial toll killing business, with relatively small volumes of science use.
The decision to sell the facility was made as part of AgResearch aligning its business activities and infrastructure to its strategy of delivering science and technology for the benefit of New Zealand’s pastoral sector.
Wilson Hellaby, which also owns Auckland Meat Processors (the largest multi species meat plant in New Zealand), has supported Ruakura abattoir for some 20 years.
The purchase of this facility will provide greater certainty for Wilson Hellaby farmer suppliers, along with a secure base for servicing Waikato and Bay of Plenty supermarkets, butchers and other retail meat outlets.
It is Wilson Hellaby’s intention to continue to provide abattoir services at Ruakura for both trade and private customers (including AgResearch when required for research purposes) under the name Ruakura Meat Processors.
Mr McSweeney says AgResearch will use the proceeds of the Ruakura Abattoir sale to upgrade its science facilities.
TheMeatSite News Desk