WAGGA WAGGA, AUSTRALIA -- Cargill Beef Australia announced recently that it will expand its beef processing facility here to better serve key customers, creating 125 additional jobs.
Construction will begin in January 2004 and is expected to be completed by March 2005. The expansion will increase the daily processing capacity to 1,200 cattle from 850. Employment would grow to 625 from 500.
"The increased capacity will be distributed to our dedicated customers in key export markets and here in Australia," said Dick Kelley, general manager of Cargill Beef Australia. "Woolworths, our key domestic account, will be a major recipient of our increased production."
Kelley said the upgrade will include a new meat-boning room, carcass sorting coolers, boxed-beef handling, chilling and freezing systems, as well as new environmental management systems. Already nearing completion is the installation of a biofilter designed to filter air coming from the plant. Capital will also be dedicated to new wastewater pre-treatment equipment.
"The announcement that Cargill will be commencing their long awaited redevelopment of its beef abattoir is the best possible news for our city," said Kevin Wales, Wagga Wagga mayor.
Cargill also announced that it has received planning approval to a proposed variation in the layout of the plant from the minister assisting the minister for planning and infrastructure. "This approval now enables Cargill to proceed with our revised upgrade," Kelley said.
Cargill acquired the processing facility in Wagga Wagga in 1991. Cargill Beef Australia also operates a beef facility in Tamworth, which opened in 1998.
Cargill Beef Australia is part of Cargill Australia Ltd., which established a presence in Australia in 1967 to serve the country's large grain exports and has since extended its involvement into several other agricultural industries including oilseed and beef processing, flour milling, as well as grain and cotton trading and grain storage.
Cargill Australia Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill Inc.