THE association representing chicken growers has slammed the decision to close the Steggles Wulkuraka processing facility in January, accusing the company of “blatant corporate profiteering”.
Baiada, which announced on Monday the facility would close leaving at least 250 people out of a job, has been contacted for comment.
Queensland Chicken Growers Association President Jodie Redcliffe estimated the decision would strip growers of $150 million in lost production and devaluation of their farms.
That figure is conservative.
There are 28 farms affected, the Association says, and across those farms there are 155 sheds.
Each shed is worth about $1 million in infrastructure spend but without a contract to send the chickens to a processor, the sheds are worthless.
“The entire Queensland industry is in shock at the timing and manner, in which this decision by one of Australia’s largest chicken meat processors was made,” Ms Redcliffe said.
When Baiada announced the closure earlier this week, it released a statement saying “market conditions” had lead to the decision.
“…. we can no longer viably operate the Ipswich facility in the medium to long term,” the statement said.
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Ms Redcliffe said Baiada’s decision was driven by corporate greed as opposed to issues with viability in the Queensland industry.
She said the industry “continues to see record profits and growth”.
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