North Island livestock co-products specialist Wallace Group is extending its nationwide operations to Southland.
Its new Mataura processing site will provide a nationwide service for the collection of slink lambs and calves, in addition to adding 50 seasonal jobs to the region.
Slink lamb and calf prices have seen a decline over the past three years, but Wallace Group chief executive Graham Shortland says the industry has seen a slight recovery this calving season.
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"The backdrop is volatile, but right now we're seeing reasonably good prices, certainly a marked improvement on last year," Mr Shortland told RadioLIVE.
Rural Exchange’s Richard Loe pointed out that farmers will need reassurance that Wallace Group is capable of mitigating biosecurity risks, with the threat of Mycoplasma bovis looming over the primary sector.
Mr Shortland emphasised that Wallace Group has put measures in place to ensure farms are protected from the disease.
“We continue to have a high level of engagement with MPI to make sure that we’re totally up to speed on all those things,” he said.
Wallace Group bought small Christchurch tannery Nichols in late 2017, which allowed the group to strengthen its position as an agri-recycler.
Wallace Group was formed in June 2017 after Wallace Corporation and Farm Brands merged.
Watch the full interview with Graham Shortland above.