JBS Australia has re-opened its processing facility in Cobram, Victoria, to service the growing demand for lamb, goat and mutton proteins both in Australia and overseas.
The Cobram facility will operate five days a week with a capacity to process up to 4,000 head of livestock per day. Initially, the facility will employ 150 team members with plans to increase to 350 team members, as JBS gradually upscales production.
“JBS Australia is proud to reopen its Cobram facility to support jobs and economic growth in the local community," said Sam McConnell, chief operating officer of JBS Southern. “Today’s changed market conditions and increasing demand for lamb products has allowed us to invest in this fit-for-purpose facility which will partner with local businesses and livestock producers to deliver Australian lamb, mutton and goat to domestic and international consumers.”
JBS is investing approximately $20 million in the latest processing and safety technologies to restart the Cobram facility. The facility was last operational in 2017 and has been in care and maintenance mode since, consistent with the company’s objective to re-open it once market conditions supported its sustainable operation.
As part of the Great Southern and JBS Australia businesses the Cobram facility will focus on delivering against a range of sustainability targets including CO2 reduction, water and energy conservation and people safety.
JBS has spent the last few months actively recruiting local Cobram workers for roles required at the facility.
Due to the ongoing labor shortage, JBS will be filling some roles via the Pacific Australia Labor Mobility (PALM) Scheme. As an endorsed government sponsored employer, JBS will support these Pacific Island workers through community engagement programs and accommodation support.
There are a number of roles that remain available at the facility and JBS encourages local applications from the community.
“JBS Australia is pleased to have the opportunity to work alongside the Cobram community again. This reinforces our commitment to continually invest in Australia, our facilities, our people and local businesses," said Brent Eastwood, CEO of JBS Australia. “Our customers, both here and overseas, are demanding high quality Australian lamb and goat produce. Reopening the Cobram facility has been a key priority for our business to meet this demand and explore growth opportunities overseas for the benefit of the local Cobram economy, livestock producers and our people.”