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24 November 2021
Stawell’s Frew Foods International meat-processing firm is on a desperate hunt to find extra workers to cope with its pressing lamb-production lines.
Company owner and managing director Robert Frew said the business was about 100 workers short and needed people to step forward to become part of a busy family enterprise.
“We basically have a call-out to skilled and unskilled, male or female workers,” he said.
“We have jobs – from management positions to tradespeople and workers on the floor. We’re trying to expand and we need people.”
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Mr Frew said the COVID-19 pandemic during the past two years had forced a reduction in staff from about 500 to 400 and there was now a need to ramp up production.
“We’re advertising constantly for locals and we’re also trying to bring people from overseas, which obviously has its difficulties,” he said.
Mr Frew said the worker shortage was a major issue throughout the industry.
“All you can do in this situation is simply process less than you should be. We’re probably running at 80 percent processing capacity,” he said.
“The lambs are there and the farmers want to sell them to us. We just need a workforce to process them.
“At the moment we’re processing 5000 lambs a day for domestic and export markets when we should be doing 6000.”
Mr Frew said the meatworks was in the middle of its peak part of the year, which added an extra level of ‘desperation’ to the worker call.
“There are so many benefits and opportunities working in this industry. I started in the industry as a meatworker and am an example of how far you can go if you want to,” he said.
“Our family has managed the business for 40 years and we’ve had people here for all those 40 years.
“You can move through the system at abattoirs, be it via human-resource management or quality assurance to senior management.
“We would dearly like a few more responses to our advertising.
“We’ll train people up for various jobs, which can set them up for life.
“We can also help people find places to live and settle into the community if they’re not local.”
The entire November 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire November 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!