13 JUNE 2024: Owners and operators of Queensland’s smallest meatworks picked up tips from one of Australia’s largest family-run complete beef supply chains today.

The 12 representatives from the Queensland Country Meat Processors Association (QCMPA) spent several hours touring the Brisbane processing works of Australian Country Choice (ACC).

The visitors came from as far away as Bingil Bay and Mundubbera for the tour which was part of a two-day workshop held twice-yearly by the association.

Association co-ordinator Rob Mollison said technology used at the processing plant and the number of staff were impressive. He added that ACC’s training model was ‘incredible’.

“Visiting the plant, the first impression you get is all the technology, as well as the amount of people and the training that goes into them and how the company has invested in these people. That’s incredible. That’s the message to take home for these smaller operators,” he said.

QCMPA president Lincoln Waldock, from Jimbour Beef & Bacon, said: “It’s been really interesting going through ACC today, seeing how everything works. We’re on a very small scale compared to here, obviously. We kill about 80 cattle a week but it’s good to see the scale of the business and see how it works, like the training.”

He said there were some commonalities. “I think everyone in the meat industry at the moment has the same struggles with staff – it’s just relative to size. That was quite interesting … and it made me feel a bit better that we’re not the only ones that are struggling with it!”

The tour was led by ACC’s workplace training officer Tony Kickert. The group included several representatives from Jimbour Beef & Bacon as well as visitors from Carey Bros, Schultes Smallgoods, Mundubbera Meats, Bingil Bay Beef, Big Meats and Maclagan Meats and TAFE QLD. Rebecca Bennett AMPC’s Co-Innovation Manager – and a former ACC staffer – (pictured below) led the group.