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WAMMCO to return $8.3 million to producer members after one million lambs and mutton processed during the year

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
WAMMCO is WA’s biggest sheep and lamb processing co-operative.
Camera IconWAMMCO is WA’s biggest sheep and lamb processing co-operative. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman/Countryman

WA’s biggest sheep and lamb processing co-operative will pay its members a bumper $8.3 million in rebates this month after processing a record one million head of lambs and mutton in the 2022-23 financial year.

WA Meat Marketing Co-operative chief executive Coll MacRury said farmer-owned co-operative’s record throughput total was up 500 head per day on its average volume two years ago and had led to the increased payouts to members.

The financial result is just down on the $8.4m returned to producer members last year — which was up $6.4m on the 2020-21 financial year — and takes the total pay out of pool bonuses by the co-operative for the past 10 years to $39.55m.

Mr MacRury said the rebate was a sign that the “the intensive work and investment” completed from farm gate to consumer plate had made a difference.

WAMMCO chief executive Coll MacRury.
Camera IconWAMMCO chief executive Coll MacRury. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

The impressive result came after a strain on the processing sector due to a high volume of demand for kill space from producers. particularly in the last half of the financial year.

“Last season was not without challenges as we were met with massive flows of lambs and mutton not seen in WA for many years,” Mr MacRury said.

“As we entered the new season, we still had many weeks of old season lamb processing to complete, and we had to work very hard to process these and then get back on top of our new season lamb processing numbers.

“I was very proud of the WAMMCO team, given we were the only WA processor really focused on processing high numbers of lamb in the second half of the 2022-23 season.”

He said a Saturday shift would start in September and run until Christmas, boosting the throughput to about 3000 head a week during peak demand season.

Mr MacRury said WAMMCO intended to make some major capacity investments over the next two years to process and market an additional 2500 lambs and mutton a day.

“We are in the process of planning new slaughter/freezing and cool store operations,” he said.

“We cannot sit on our hands and force lamb and mutton producers in WA to wait long periods for processing space.

“We have the market access and market investment to be able to successfully process and market another 2500 lambs and mutton per day, and we are really focused on making this a reality for the WA industry.”

He said he hoped that the increased capacity would not only better serve existing members but also attract new member producers to the co-operative.

WAMMCO, which is WA’s biggest sheep and lamb co-operative, will finalise its 2022-23 financial year result at its annual general meeting at Katanning in October.

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