Blue Sky Meats is leading the way in the meat processing industry and its latest efforts have paid off heavily not only for the company, but for its workers too.
In the past, the company has faced some adverse conditions, but the Strategic Plan put in place almost two years ago has turned the company on its head and Blue Sky Meats is now one of the most competitive processors in the southern-based red meat industry.
Blue Sky Meats CEO Todd Grave said it was no secret Blue Sky had had its fair share of ups and downs, but the delivery of improving profits was solidifying its position in the market.
“We have some of the most attractive and competitive pay rates in the New Zealand red meat industry and the busy work of our procurement team means we’ve had a massive increase in livestock to process,” he said.
The livestock increase has been a boost, not only for business, but for the company’s staff. The company has a longer season than other processors, the main season employment period for workers being from November to June for day and night shift.
It’s also meant there have been plenty of overtime opportunities, up to eight hours a week in some cases.
A longer work season meant the company was able to invest in more development work with staff, such as structured training programmes for skill enhancement, and also paved the way for a clear long-term career path with Blue Sky Meats and the red meat industry, Grave said.
“We’ve got a strong base of loyal and long-serving team members, some of which have been with us from day one, but we’re now at the point where we’ve got so much work going on that we’re looking to grow the team to support our continued success and growth,” he said.
In the coming months, Blue Sky Meats would be increasing its focus on the health and safety of its workers with new season staff inductions, investment in infrastructure and machinery and ongoing training.
Heading into the new season, conditions were looking positive and favourable and Grave said the success was down to the business being committed to maintaining genuine relationships with its farmer-suppliers.
“I think the people we work with appreciate that we’re driven by southern values, and that’s come from working with generations of Southland families,” he said.