Funds to upgrade Katanning processing plant

Zach RelphCountryman
WAMMCO boss Coll MacRury is welcoming the State Government funding announcement.
Camera IconWAMMCO boss Coll MacRury is welcoming the State Government funding announcement. Credit: Sharon Smith

One of WA’s leading sheep-processing plants has been bolstered by a major funding injection, receiving $5 million for upgrades via a State Government scheme.

Yesterday, State Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan revealed WA Meat Marketing Co-operative will be provided $5 million to increase processing potential at its Katanning facility.

The funds, provided through the Co-operative Companies Loan Scheme, will be used to upgrade the processing plant’s mutton boning room and also improve conveyor, compressor and computer systems.

WAMMCO chief executive Coll MacRury trumpeted the announcement to upgrade the Katanning plant, which is one of the region’s biggest employers with scope for more than 300 staff when at full capacity.

“It is an integral component of funding for upgrades to greatly increase our overall processing and marketing capacity,” he said.

“In turn, the investment of State money is serving to increase the value of producer equity in our cooperative assets at Katanning.”

The funding announcement came as Meat and Livestock Australia reported global sheepmeat demand was boosting the nation’s sheep and lamb value.

With sheepmeat fetching strong returns, Ms MacTiernan said it was important to “capitalise on this market opportunity”.

“Investing in sheep processing facilities provides farmers with more options for turn off, and helps our State to meet the growing global demand for premium WA lamb and mutton,” she said. “WAMMCO is the only major producer-owned co-operative of lamb and sheep meat products in Australia and continue to deliver fantastic results for farmer members. These upgrades will provide a welcome boost to Katanning’s economy and farming community.”

Since the scheme was launched in 2005, more than $102 million in loans have been given to WA-based co-operatives.

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