Nationwide co-products business Wallace Group has announced it has extended operations in Southland with the addition of a Mataura processing site, requiring around 20 seasonal contractors and 30 seasonal staff.
Wallace Group chief executive officer, Graham Shortland says, “We’re very pleased to have extended our presence in Southland. The recycling of co-products from the agricultural sector performs a valuable service for farmers and processors as well as protecting the natural environment from the impact of dead stock.
“It’s also good news for the local economy as around two dozen contractors are required for slink lamb and calf collection along with about 30 staff for processing. A new, bespoke casualty cow truck is being deployed in the Southland region this month and be based there to provide a year round service to the dairy industry”
With the additional coverage in Southland, Wallace Group now has a comprehensive New Zealand-wide service for the collection of slink lambs and calves and casualty cows in most regions.
A key goal for Wallace Group, formed through the merger of Wallace Corporation and Farm Brands in June last year, was to create a nationwide co-products and tannery business.
“We are committed to extending collection coverage and providing a timely and efficient service for removing waste materials and turning them into higher value products,” says Shortland. “While we have decades of experience in casualty cow collection and recycling of agricultural wastes, we are always looking for creative ways we can add value to the industry.”
Last year Wallace Group also acquired Nichols (NZ) Limited, who operate a specialist tannery in Christchurch, and a significant casualty stock collector network across the South Island.
Bernie Lynskey, general manager of Wallace Group’s Christchurch tannery business says, “Our collection service has created a positive industry for converting lamb and calf skins into high quality finished leathers which are exported for glove, garment, accessory and footwear manufacturing.”
Wallace Group picks up around half a million slink lambs annually in the South Island and around 40-50,000 in the North Island.
Lynskey says, “In addition to providing work for contractors, community groups also get involved in collection of slink lambs and calves as a fundraiser. Over the years substantial money has been returned to communities and local charities in this way.”
Wallace Group has a workforce of around 250 people throughout New Zealand, which can grow by around 100 people during seasonal peaks. The company provides a year round casualty cow collection service to farmers. Through a dedicated Wallace Group owned and operated call centre, bookings for the collection service can be made for specialist trucks to pick up casualty cows from farms.
Shortland says, “We are on a mission to strengthen the agri-recycling industry. We have created the nationwide network to remove hundreds of thousands of dead stock that would otherwise be left on the land – which has a very positive impact on the environment – and the processing capability to create a wide range of products from meat and bone meals, to hides and skins for export.”