Cattle supply chain bottleneck sparks fears


Australian and Indonesian supply chains are gearing up for a high-risk balancing act as they struggle with processing bottlenecks

Cattle supply chain bottleneck sparks fears
Cattle supply chain bottleneck sparks fears

By Rebecca Byfield | November 15, 2011

Australian and Indonesian supply chains are gearing up for a high-risk balancing act as they struggle with processing bottlenecks.

More than 70,000 cattle will be shipped to Indonesia during November and December but with so few certified abattoirs in place to process the consignments, the risk is being caught with more market-ready cattle than they can process.

If this happens, importers will be forced to process cattle outside of the nominated supply chains, a move that would put the industry at risk of being shut down again.

An industry source claims some supply chains
are dragging their feet in implementing full traceability, which was fuelling nervousness that sufficient abattoir capacity would not be ready in time.

"I think more cattle have gone in than they have the capacity to kill through accredited abattoirs," the source says.

The Federal Government finally allowed the resumption of exports to Indonesia in August,
following
a two-month shut down in the wake of ABC TV claims of animal cruelty.

Only 14 Indonesian abattoirs were certified to receive live exports.

And with the seasonal cattle-supply window drawing to an end, exporters and importers are trying to make up for lost time, shipping as many cattle as possible in the short time frame.

However, industry bodies remain confident that a processing deficit will not occur.

"Capacity is something that industry is dealing with, and it appears at the moment that it will be okay," says the Australian Live Exporters’ Council's Lach MacKinnon.

Meat and Livestock Australia's Michael Finucan
adds "Individual supply chains are aware of the risk and are managing it with their importers."

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