The state government will provide a $5 million loan to the WA Meat Marketing Cooperative’s Katanning sheep processing plant, amid record sheep meat prices.
The state government will provide a $5 million loan to the WA Meat Marketing Cooperative’s Katanning sheep processing plant as sheep meat prices reach record highs.
The government says the loan will enable the farmer-owned WAMMCO to increase its processing potential and efficiency through upgrades to the mutton boning room.
Other upgrades include improvements to the plant's conveyor, compressor and computer systems.
The government says the Katanning plant is the largest employer in the region, with more than 300 staff when operating at full capacity.
The loan is part of the state government’s Co-operative Companies Loan Scheme.
More than $102 million in loans have been provided to Western Australian cooperatives for capital purchases since the scheme began in 2005, the state government says.
WAMMCO received a $5 million loan as part of the scheme in July 2018.
Peak body Meat & Livestock Australia released its latest figures today, which revealed that sheep meat prices across all categories reached record levels during winter.
The national saleyard trade lamb indicator powered through $9 per kilogram at the beginning of July and ultimately reached a peak of $9.5 per kilogram, a 9 per cent rise above the high achieved in September 2018.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said sheep meat was fetching record prices and the government was supporting farmers to capitalise on this market opportunity.
"Investing in sheep processing facilities provides farmers with more options for turnoff, 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 cooperative of lamb and sheep meat products in Australia and continues to deliver fantastic results for farmer members.”