Plant glitch brings work to a brief halt

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The processing of sheep and lamb at Alliance Group Pukeuri plant has temporarily ceased, affecting 240 workers.

The company yesterday confirmed that employees will be recalled back to Pukeuri plant once the situation is resolved.

General manager of processing Kerry Stevens yesterday said that Pukeuri plant’s certification for China was suspended by the Ministry of Primary Industries in July after a container was shipped to China containing cartons that were incorrectly labelled.

The Chinese market access regulations require a label on both the inside and the outside of the carton, however, the affected cartons were only labelled on the outside.

Alliance Group said the issues surronded the labelling and not the meat itself.

Mr Kerry said the group hope to have the issue resolved in the coming weeks.

“We regret that this situation has occurred and, of course, its impact on our employees,’’ he said.

In their statement, yesterday, Alliance Group said the administration errors which caused the issue, have been addressed.

The company is awaiting confirmation from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) that the action taken is satisfactory and that certification can be restored.

For the meantime, sheep and lamb will be processed at Smithfield plant and will enable the company to continue to service its customers in China.

The Pukeuri plant will continue to process bobby calves.

The 240 employees affected, will be recalled back to Pukeuri plant once the situation is resolved.

By Jessie Waite