2 Sep 2013

Alliance still waiting on MPI go-ahead

6:59 am on 2 September 2013

Alliance Group is still waiting for the final nod from the Ministry for Primary Industries to resume processing sheep meat for China at its Pukerui plant in North Otago.

The meat co-operative says the plant has passed an MPI audit after the ministry suspended its China certification in July because of a labelling error picked up on some cartons of meat sent there.

However, Alliance's general manager of processing, Kerry Stevens, says the company is still waiting on confirmation from MPI that certification has been restored, so it can resume processing.

That means 240 Pukeuri meatworkers laid off several weeks ago still do not know when they can start working again.

Pukeuri has continued processing bobby calves, but sheep meat for China is being processed at Alliance's Smithfield plant at Timaru.