Alliance Group invests $1.2 million in Timaru meat plant

Alliance recently appointed Karen Morris as Smithfield plant manager, the co-operative's second female plant manager and a long-time employee of the company.
Alliance recently appointed Karen Morris as Smithfield plant manager, the co-operative's second female plant manager and a long-time employee of the company. Photo credit: Supplied

Alliance Group is investing $1.2 million in its Smithfield plant in Timaru with the improvements expected to boost efficiency by up to 20 percent.

The farmer-owned co-operative is installing additional vacuum packaging, co-products processing technology and extending the secondary processing area at the South Canterbury plant.

In June, the co-operative announced improvements to its Dannevirke plant, which will increase capacity by 20 per cent and mean jobs for 35 additional staff. 

The project in the southern Hawke's Bay is due to get underway next month. Chief executive of Alliance Group David Surveyor said the investment at Smithfield was another step forward in the company's transformation strategy and showed the benefit of a strong balance sheet.

David Surveyor said the improvements would significantly improve product flow. at the plant.
David Surveyor said the improvements would significantly improve product flow. at the plant. Photo credit: Supplied

"We are in a position to invest in our plants to support our farmers, our people and the communities we operate in," he said.

"This reflects our commitment to strengthening our processing capabilities and maximising our operational performance across our plant network," said Surveyor.

He said the major gains at Smithfield would come from the reconfiguration of a secondary processing facility at the plant. 

This would include additional vacuum capacity and conveyors, which will significantly improve the product flow. 

"As a co-operative, we are focused on maximising the value created for New Zealand farmers. We remain focused on lifting the performance and productivity of all our plants.

"This investment is great news for Timaru and the south Canterbury region with the plant employing 500 people at peak season."

Alliance recently appointed Karen Morris as Smithfield plant manager, the co-operative's second female plant manager and a long-time employee of the company.

She joined Alliance in 1998 and brings significant experience in food safety, quality and market access including roles as technical manager, group food safety and market access manager and group manager food safety and quality assurance.

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