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Southland Processing Sites Take Out Awards

By Silver Fern Farms

Southland Processing Sites Take Out Awards

"Posted" 12/01/2022

Two processing sites based in Southland have featured heavily in this years’ Silver Fern Farms Annual Site Awards, with Silver Fern Farms Waitane taking out this year’s award as the Overall Winner.

Each year Silver Fern Farms holds awards for its 14 processing sites based across the country, with categories covering sustainability, health & safety, customer and quality, productivity, people and STREAMLINE, and for best site by beef, sheep, and venison.

This year, Silver Fern Farms Waitane won the Health, Safety and Wellness; STREAMLINE; and Best Sheep Plant, and was the Overall Winner for Best Site. Silver Fern Farms Kennington won the Sustainability Award and Best Venison Plant.

Silver Fern Farms General Manager Operations, Mark Leslie, says that current high farmgate pricing doesn’t tell the full story of an otherwise challenging year for red meat processing.

“Over the course of the year we’ve juggled many unprecedented challenges including the impact of Covid restrictions and being around 550 people short across our site network,” he says.

“Our ability to continue performing as we have can be put down to resilience and resourcefulness of staff across our 14 processing sites.

“While 2022 looks to pose similar challenges to this year, particularly with labour shortages, it’s really reassuring to know that we are going into this period with such a strong core group of staff across our sites,” he says.

Leslie says that with 14 Silver Fern Farms processing sites around the country with over 7,000 staff collectively processing over 15 million stock units, taking out an award category is no mean feat.

“These awards are a way we celebrate the success of our staff but they are also very competitive. Some of the categories were very close, and so those who won this year can be very proud,” he says.

Silver Fern Farms Waitane Site Manager Bronwyn Cairns says it’s really pleasing for the staff to have recognition for all their efforts this year.

“We’re really proud of the contribution we’re making to the business and industry, but we’re also really proud of our contribution to the local economy,” Bronwyn says.

“At Waitane alone, we’re processing over 360,000 stock units a year which is enough to fill up around 900 containers.

“In an average year, we pay out over $10 million in local wages and salaries and over $35 million in livestock payments to local farmer suppliers.

“We’ll be taking a brief break for a week over Christmas but back into it bright and early in 2022,” Bronwyn says.