The plan is to process prime beef for residents and tourists, cattle not meeting specifications for shipment to mainland processors, plus veal, lamb, mutton and wallaby.
The island’s former export abattoir closed in 2012, leading to cattle and sheep being shipped to Tasmania and Victoria for processing.
The report says demand for meat by island residents and a growing tourism industry fuelled by the two Links golf courses, coupled with identified national demand for King Island meat, skins, hides and render products, offers an opportunity to develop a profitable, small, multi species abattoir on the island.
Former Stock & Land market analyst, Don Storey, retired to farm on King Island, and has fallen into the executive officer position for King Island mixed species abattoir.
The King Island Council, and community, has backed the plan with more than 80 farming families, businesses and individuals pledging $480,000 toward the project.
The primary market for King Island Multi Species Abattoir (KIMSA) meat will be residents and tourists. Some products will be marketed through a strategic alliance with a Victorian wholesaler specialising in meat sourced from Tasmania. Some national expansion is anticipated based on strong King Island brand recognition.
The business will employ up to seven multi-skilled labour units to achieve optimum plant operational efficiency. All cuts will be chilled and vacuum packed to ensure high quality with a shelf life of at least 70 days. The application process to regulatory authorities has begun.
With two large export licensed processors currently competing for King Island cattle to be processed in Tasmania and Victoria directors say the relationship with the large export businesses is considered symbiotic rather than competitive.
While the business plan is based on a conservative entry into meat processing through an alliance with a wholesaler, there is room for future value adding sub-primals into a range of higher value specialty products.
The directors are actively seeking outside investment.