Silver Fern Farms meat co-operative has bought the Frasertown sheep processing plant in northern Hawke's Bay to plug a gap in its processing network.
The single chain sheep meat plant processes about 3,750 sheep a week.
Silver Fern Farms' chief executive, Keith Cooper, says the new plant allows the company to offer a service to a far wider range of farmers.
He says the Frasertown plant is close to some big sheep raising areas in the Gisborne and Wairoa region, where the company has not had good penetration because sheep have needed to be trucked to its Takapau works in central Hawke's Bay - a five to six hour journey.
He says there are also many Silver Fern beef suppliers in the region and, in the past, their stock has not always been able to be accommodated at Silver Fern Farm's Napier processing plant.
Silver Fern Farms says it will run the Frasertown plant as a stand-alone operation.
The plant manager, Tom Dever, will continue to be in charge, and there will be no changes to staffing.