A multi-million dollar redevelopment of the dismantled Castricum Brothers abattoir site in Melbourne’s industrial southeast is set to deliver Victoria its single-largest and most-modern cattle processing facility when fully operational.
The redevelopment of the stripped-out Castricum lamb abattoirs by Australian Meat Group began 16 months ago.
The rebuilding project, which has included the construction of a state-of-the-art carton-assembly cold store unit is led by abattoir renovation guru, Joe Catalfamo, and a company of new investors after he served a compulsory five year “non-compete” obligation following the sale of his former Tasman Group to Brazilian global meat giant, JBS SA.
AMG Dandenong, as the facility will be known, has been redeveloped from the ground up and within the hollow-shell that once housed Castricum beef and lamb plant - a facility built in the 1980s and operated until its closure in 2011.
AMG managing director, Gilbert Cabral - another former Tasman Group executive - says when fully commissioned AMG Dandenong will process up to 1500 cattle daily in a two-shift operation.
“Our ultimate aim is for a double-shift operation: 750 head per shift” he said.
“We are now three months into the processing phase following a construction phasse of 12 months ” he said.
“We began processing on July 9th and with a new team have lifted production slowly”.
Current production is now at 450 adult beef units per day. We are taking our time because as a start-up company we want to get our processes right, and we want the whole plant to run at seamlessly as possible”.
The AMG double shift could take two years to achieve but the initial aim is to hit a full single shift, hopefully, within the next six months.
AMG has assembled an experienced livestock team:
Livestock manager, Ben Davies will cover northeast Victoria, Andrew Corrigan- Gippsland, Bruce Mackin- Western District, Tom Christenson- Southeast SA, Noel Rutley- Riverina and northern Victoria, John Lyons– Western Victoria/Mallee, Neil East– Central West NSW (cattle), Kevin Hogg– Central West NSW (sheep).