JBS Australia has reduced the working hours at its Townsville beef processing plant. JBS director and head of corporate and regulatory John Berry blamed a lack of cattle due to widespread drought for reduced hours at the Stuart plant, reports the Townsville Bulletin.

The facility closed for 16 weeks earlier this year, reopening in April. Berry said that the company knew that the unavailability of cattle at the end of 2015 would lead to difficulties in 2016.

“Due to a lack of volume across the north of the state, it has put pressure on our processing capacity but we are not going to close,” Mr Berry said.

“Shortage of cattle due to drought and competition from the live export trade will remain key issues for the Townsville plant in the next few years. Due to the current lack of cattle from across the North, pressure has been placed on processing capacity.

“The abattoir is the most northerly in the state and plays an important role in the North and for the state as a whole.

“JBS Australia is committed to Townsville for the long term. The company has invested millions of dollars into the plant,” he said.

Source: Townsville Bulletin