Alliance Group Pukeuri reaches its century

Alliance Group’s Pukeuri meat processing plant near Oamaru celebrated its centenary in March.

Alliance Pukeuri plant manager Geoff Proctor pushes open the plant gates at the plant's centenary. Photo Carol Edwards.Among the events held to celebrate the milestone were a centenary dinner for invited guests, the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on the plant’s gates and the opening of a six-month historic exhibition at North Otago Museum.

In addition, Alliance is publishing a book on the history of the plant, which is being written by Jacquie Webby, a former reporter with the Oamaru Mail. In tracing the plant’s history and changes of ownership, it reflects the changing environment for New Zealand meat processing over the past century and shows how one site moves with the times.

Today, Pukeuri is the co-operative’s second largest processing facility in New Zealand. The plant, the largest employer in the North Otago area, now processes over 10,500 sheep and lambs and 550 cattle a day and employs more than 900 staff.

Alliance Pukeuri has evolved to become one of the country’s leading meat processing plants. It incorporates modern processing technology, the highest levels of hygiene, food safety and environmental standards. It is estimated the plant injects around $100 million into the local economy every year.

The centenary marks a major milestone, not only for Alliance Group, but also Oamaru and the wider North Otago region, says Kerry Stevens, general manager of processing at Alliance Group.

‘The Works – Celebrating 100 Years of the Pukeuri Plant, the People and Progress’ by Jacquie Webby.

This article has appeared in Food NZ magazine (April/May 2014) and is reproduced here with permission.

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