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TAS Country : March 10th 2011
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, March 11, 2011 News Age-old trade goes way A third of Tasmania's licensed meat processing premises have closed over the past decade. Jennifer Crawley reports on the demise of a once prolific and profitable rural enterprise David and Rita Stephens It's sad. When everyone wants to get back to basics, and they want to know where their food comes from -- abattoirs are disappearing.' THERE were 33 abattoirs in Tasmania in 2000, now there are 22. Cradoc abattoir owner Rita Stephens remembers a map of Tasmania in the office with pins dotted all over it showing the locations of licensed abattoirs. Mrs Stephens and her husband David have their abattoir on the market. ''It's sad,'' Mrs Stephens said. ''When everyone wants to get back to basics, and they want to know where their food comes from -- abattoirs are disappearing.'' Department of Primary Industries food safety manager Chris Lyell said the number of small processors had remained static over the past three or four years. DPIPWE issues licences to domestic meat premises that sell meat locally and in Australia, Mr Lyell said. The Commonwealth and AQIS are respon- sible for inspections and licences for ex- porter processors such as JBS Swift and Greenhams. ''Licensed premises are spread evenly over the state,'' Mr Lyell said. ''Several left the indus- try simply because they retired. ''One family who ran a tiny operation in the northeast moved inter- state, another in the southeast corner simply retired. It was a one-man show who slaughtered once a week purely for that area. ''There was one in Maydena whose annual kill would equal JBS's first two minutes of the day. ''These sorts of prem- ises were nice, neat oper- ations that were too small to continue.'' Blue Ribbon at Kil- lafaddy was the biggest processor to drop out, Mr Lyell said. ''The reasons small op- erators exist is because they have found a market niche, larger ones are based on volume which is sent for manufactur- ing and interstate. ''The small guy exists for the farmer down the road who wants to kill a couple of lambs, and some might specialise, like the Flinders Island processor who special- ises in lamb and sends it interstate.'' Mr Lyell said there had been a commensurate drop in the number of butcher shops. ''There has been a drop in the number of indus- try participants across the board,'' he said. Processors JBS Swift and Greenhams are registered training or- ganisations that offer slaughtermen training courses to employees. Skills Tasmania also offers courses. There have been 19 slaughter- men graduate from the Skills Tasmania meat processing course in the past five years. There was one gradu- ate in 2007 and 2009, three graduates in 2008, five in 2006 and nine in 2010. Slated for slaughter at end of line Do you need help to live independently at home? * Calls from mobile phones are charged at applicable rates Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres are here to help. A Centre can: • Provide you with information on local aged & community care services available to suit your needs • Arrange help for carers to take a break from their caring role (respite) To contact your local Centre call Freecall 1800 052 222* To find your nearest shopfront visit www.commcarelink.health.gov.au For emergency respite outside business hours call Freecall 1800 059 059* Carer Advisory and Counselling Service For family carer support and counselling you can contact your state or territory Carers Association on 1800 242 636* adcorp11868
March 3rd 2011
March 17th 2011