There's a possibility that sheep processing at the AFFCO plant in Wairoa could begin next week.
The company had planned to start the new season on one chain this week, but has been in conflict with the Meat Workers Union for more than two months about a new site agreement.
Last week, for the third time in three weeks, a mediator facilitated a meeting between AFFCO and the union.
As a result, AFFCO general manager Rowan Ogg says the company has put forward a revised site agreement, which the union will put to members at a meeting on Thursday.
He says the situation is delicate, but if union members agree to the proposed agreement, sheep processing can start almost immediately.
Union spokesperson Eric Mischefski is cautiously optimistic that the members will agree to the new proposal.