The drought is having an impact on herd numbers.
The drought is having an impact on herd numbers. Robyne Cuerel

Drought forces staff cuts at Rockhampton meatworks

BREAKING, 3pm: The country's second largest beef processor will embark on a restructure of operations at its Rockhampton plant as  the drought forces cattle numbers to drop substantially.

A record turnoff of cattle has seen meat processor Teys Australia reduce its daily kill at its Rockhampton plant from 1668 to 1458 from November 23.

Teys Australia General Manager Corporate Affairs Tom Maguire said in a press release that supply shortages meant there will be a reduction in staff numbers, with the difficult decision made on circumstances beyond their control.

"Unfortunately, the herd numbers are not replenishing fast enough to meet numbers killed."

Mr Maguire said they had little choice but to reduce Teys daily kill in response to next year's cattle numbers forecast which is tipped to dip to a 35 year low.

"This is a once in a generation decline but unfortunately we can expect herd numbers to stay significantly low for at least the next two years as cattle producers rebuild their stock.

"With this restructure, Teys is confident it can operate more efficiently in an environment of lower supply and provide more security for our workforce going forward."

"Already, these changes mean we can be confident the Rockhampton plant will operate up until our planned shutdown on December 17 and recommence on January 15."

While some staff numbers will be reduced, Mr Maguire says Teys will attempt to accommodate these workers at other sites.



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