Silver Fern Farms has confirmed a capital infrastructure upgrade to its ‘Pacific’ Hawke’s Bay beef processing site, to be designed, built and delivered by Wiley.
The Pacific site will see the build of a new primary butchery chiller and upgraded secondary butchery packaging process at the site.
Silver Fern Farms’ Chief Executive Simon Limmer said the upgrade will enable Silver Fern Farms to increase supply of its branded premium grass-fed product ranges into the China and US markets once fully operational in 2021.
“There is strong long-term international demand for Silver Fern Farms’ high-value grass-fed products and this upgrade at our Pacific site will enable us to better service these key international markets.”
“Last year we returned over $230m to farmers supplying the site and over $25m to companies that support the ongoing operation of the site. The flow-on benefits created for rural businesses providing goods and services to Pacific will be significant.”
Wiley is looking forward to being on-site from the end of January 2021.
Wiley’s, Jon Martin said, “We are thrilled to continue working with Silver Fern Farms, enabling them to better service export markets and support the surrounding communities of the Pacific site. We are excited to be working with local suppliers and subcontractors to deliver the facility in 2021.”
Silver Fern Farms’ GM Operations Mark Leslie said the upgrade is the largest single investment Silver Fern Farms has made at its Pacific site in recent years.
“Several plant changes are necessary for us to scale-up our grass-fed programmes production. The upgrade includes a significant extension of the marshalling chiller, with automated rails for staging prior to processing, a reconfiguration of the boning room, and packing and carton handling areas. It is also an opportunity for us to upgrade, modify and relocate equipment at the site.”
The Pacific plant employs 600 people at its seasonal peak, injecting over $31m in wages and salaries to staff.