THE revamp of the Strathalbyn abattoir is well under way, with expectations of a reopening in a little more than a month.
Cattle and sheep yards are being updated, while the kill floors have been gutted ready for renovation and all the walls and floors stripped.
Fleurieu Community Co-operative general manager Grant List said it was a busy time trying to get everything done before August reopening.
"We done a lot of things already, but there is still a lot to do here," he said.
"But it's an exciting process and the plant will look totally different to what it was when it's finished."
The capacity of the facility is 60 beef and 500 sheep and lambs a day, with pig processing under consideration.
Mr List said a big concern was filling the labour component, especially with the lack of local accommodation.
"We'll need about 35 staff on the floor, plus a few in administration," he said.
"We'll probably promote the jobs through the Regional Development Corporation and are considering above award rates to attract the right people."
FCC director Grant Baker said they were also still in negotiations with the state government to finalise the regional development grant announced earlier this year.
The former government had announced it would contribute $1.5 million to the $3.5m restoration of the site.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Clare Scriven has reaffirmed her commitment to the co-operative, according to Mr Baker, with the FCC's $1.5m grant backed by the Labor government post the state election.
"After which, the major works can then get under way," he said.
"We are also still in fundraising mode and still looking for members, but on the whole, we are looking pretty good with final costings now all completed."
The co-operative model allows buy in from local farmers, retailers, wholesalers and restaurateurs, while in March, the FCC secured a significant partnership deal with SA 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.
The FCC held an annual general meeting in Strathalbyn on Tuesday night, where they appointed a new board which includes beef producer Trevor Paech, grazier Ben Ryan, Mr dos Santos, Mr Baker and former Master Butchers Co-operative chief executive officer Warren McLean.
Speaking with Stock Journal yesterday morning, Mr Baker said the AGM had a positive atmosphere.
"When we presented originally, there was a lot of frustration in the room but that's changed and last night was really positive," he said.
"I thought we would run for 45 minutes and we ran for two hours with lots of questions and lots of engagement by members.
"Everyone is really committed to the process."
Mr Baker said the co-operative had just shy of 70 members, but he expected this number to swell in the coming weeks.
"We know that over the next four weeks there will be at least another 40 to 50 applications," he said.
"We want all of those farmers and growers on board, we want those butchers on board, we want people that are involved in producing the best produce in Australia as part of the co-operative."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.