THE Fleurieu Community Co-operative abattoir has secured a significant partnership deal, with South Australian supermarket brand Foodland joining as a member and signing a supply agreement.
At least 50 per cent of product from the Strathalbyn facility will go into Foodland, with chief executive officer Franklin dos Santos saying he valued the FCC's focus on paddock-to-plate product and traceability.
"Foodland as a proud SA Brand is committed to working with the Fleurieu Community Co-operative to deliver a solution from paddock to plate for South Australians," Mr dos Santos said.
"Foodland has always been a key demand partner in supporting SA Farmers and by becoming a member of the FCC it will be able to provide customers a sustainable traceable protein offer, back to the paddock, for South Australians."
RELATED READING: Fleurieu Community Co-Operative abattoir set to open at Strathalbyn
The Strathalbyn facility - which closed its doors in December 2020 - will re-open in late July to early August, with the revamp starting in late March.
The co-operative model allows buy in from local farmers, retailers, wholesalers and restaurateurs.
FCC board member Grant Baker said the co-op was excited to have Foodland on board.
"We see the co-op as being an SA entity," he said.
"This will be the first paddock-to-plate facility in SA and for South Australians."
RELATED READING: Plan launched to re-open Strathalbyn abattoir
Mr Baker said a "broad mix" of 64 members had signed on already, with up to 20 more companies expected to join imminently.
He said the plan had full endorsement and approval from the Australian Meat Processing Corporation, costs had been completed, a general manager signed and engineers appointed.
"This is happening and there has been a lot of rumour that it wouldn't happen or wouldn't be right but it's going ahead," Mr Baker said.
"The leases are wrapped up, costings are done, structures are in place, the money is there, the staff and technology are there and the supply and demand is there. Now we want people to come and join us."
The FCC received another boost on Wednesday, with Primary Industries Minister David Basham announcing his government would contribute $1.5 million to the $3.5 million restoration of the site.
"The abattoir at Strathalbyn closed in 2020 and ever since then we have been looking at options for its future," he said.
RELATED READING: Strathalbyn abattoir closed
"By having a local meat processing facility re-open, farmers will have more options to have their produce processed with lower transport costs and the potential to see higher margin local meat products.
"This will provide an economic boost to the region and importantly support local jobs.
"The project will see the repair and upgrade of existing facilities, investment in new facilities and implementation of an automated abattoir booking management system to enable operations to commence."
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