[18 December/NZ Farmer]

Meat processing plants across the country are working at capacity to accommodate an influx of stock caused by the dry weather the country has experienced in the last six weeks. Alliance Group said the company has been working through drought scenarios and had got all their plants up and running at full capacity with chains operating extended hours including Saturdays. A spokesperson also noted that the company was talking to employees about whether plants would operate over the Christmas and New Year break. Alliance also noted that priority was being given to platinum and gold shareholders who supply all their stock in one class to the company or all their stock overall. Blue Sky Meats also noted that their Morton Mains plant was working at full capacity while Silver Fern Farms noted that all its plants are operating at or near capacity with additional chains, overtime and nightshifts where it could and Saturday shifts to process high stock-flows, again with preference being given to loyal shareholders.