Teys brothers respond to hard times

THE global financial crisis and State Government backflips have forced Teys Brothers to re-structure some of its plants.

While the biggest impact has been at its Beenleigh plant, the Biloela meatworks has not escaped the accountant's axe.

Teys Group of Companies CEO Brad Teys recently announced that the group's Beenleigh operations were being restructured in response to “extraordinarily difficult trading conditions” affecting the Queensland beef industry.

The daily cattle throughput would be reduced from 1534 head to 1322 head.

There would also be alterations to the span of hours on some shifts to accommodate the lower throughput.

It was expected that this change would result in 80 job losses at the site.

A Teys spokesperson said the company would maintain existing employee numbers at its Biloela and Rockhampton meatworks, “however due to the conditions we expect reduced working days at the plants at least until Christmas shutdown”.

“We are making every effort to minimise this,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Teys said there were a number of factors which had severely affected the industry.

One of the things he blamed for the conditions were the unprecedented numbers of live cattle being shipped from Queensland ports since January.

“This has severely restricted numbers available for slaughter.

“Queensland Rail has failed to provide livestock transport services agreed with industry in January.

“Markets for meat remain soft following the effects of the global financial crisis,” Mr Teys said. The CEO said the continuing high value of the Australian Dollar had reduced returns to exporters.

While Mr Teys acknowledged that a number of these factors were beyond anyone's control, he expressed frustration with governments who continue to fail to provide a level playing field for the Australian meat industry.

“It is high time that governments recognised that excessive government charges on processors and failure to provide infrastructure simply results in the export of meat workers' jobs overseas in the form of live exports.

“Live exporters pay only a fraction of our AQIS charges, are not disadvantaged by diminished rail services and do not face the looming detriment of the ETS.

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