Plant closed until market improves

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Blue Sky Meats Gore plant will remain idle until beef financial margins increase.

The plant was scheduled to reopen in November this year, chief executive Todd Grave said earlier.

The plant, formerly known as Clover Meats, came to a halt late last year because of low financial margins, he said. The cost of buying beef cattle and global market prices for the product did not result in a profitable margin.

Mr Grave said earlier this week that each month, the company reviewed supply and demand in the beef market.

“If [or] when we feel confident market conditions mean we can profitably procure, process and sell cow/beef, we will reopen Gore,” Mr Grave said. “Unfortunately, right now this is not the case and Gore remains temporarily closed.”

The Gore plant processed mainly beef, plus some horse and deer. When it was in full production, it employed about 45 staff, he said.

Salaried and process workers from the Gore plant were all offered secondment to Morton Mains, near Invercargill. The majority of them took it up, Mr Graves said earlier.