An Open Letter

We’ve composed an open letter to South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell, asking them to support Fleurieu Poultry with a secured loan. Read the letter below, and sign your name to it with the form on the right!


To: Premier Weatherill, and Minister Bignell,

We have a jobs crisis in South Australia.

It’s true there are jobs out there. However, ask anyone who has had to look for a job over the past 12 months, and many of them will relate stories of applying for over 100 positions only to find themselves unemployed. The strain is being felt by individuals, families, whole communities.

When Inghams closed the Aldinga Turkeys Factory, the National Union of Workers, ex-employees and local farmers came together to form the Fleurieu Poultry Association. Together we can get back to work. We had a vision and a plan that could see the factory re-open to service the needs of local poultry producers, and create a viable enterprise to bring jobs back to the local community, with far reaching economic benefits.

With credit to your government, you saw the same vision. You supported us by funding a feasibility study the tune of $70,000 to investigate the viability of reopening the Aldinga Turkeys factory as a community cooperative business.

The feasibility study has been released, and it is a good plan. A plan that, the business case shows, has the potential to create around 50 jobs directly, and millions of dollars in economic activity throughout the Fleurieu and Adelaide Hills regions every year.

We have a plan. We are ready to work for it. We, the workers and farmers, have interested distributors, customers and investors. It shows immense potential. We, the workers, the farmers, the community, are now asking you:

Premier Weatherill and Minister Bignell, we need a $2 million secured loan from the SA government. Will you step up and back the plan?

Funding announced

State Government have announced that they will fund the feasibility study for Fleurieu Poultry Cooperative to support local jobs and a growing food industry for South Australia. Minister for Agriculture Leon Bignall addressed workers, farmers and the local community in McLarenVale, and advised that the feasibility study would take between six to eight weeks.

FWCgroup

This is the first step towards getting the factory running in cooperative hands and a very big achievement for workers and local farmers!

Media Release

Public meeting to launch worker-producer poultry cooperative in McLaren Vale Simon Bryant from ABC’s ‘The Cook and the Chef’ will help workers and local poultry producers launch a community project to maintain jobs and a growing food industry in one of South Australia’s favourite wine regions.

Earlier this year Inghams Poultry announced that it would close the Aldinga Turkey’s processing facility at McLaren Vale on 19 December 2014.  Inghams have made it clear that this commercial decision was not a reflection on its workforce or the suppliers, and the company wished to support those affected in the community through the difficult transition period.

Since the announcement there have been a series of meetings initiated by National Union of Workers and workers employed at the factory with poultry producers, the company, state and local government, and potential customers about continuing to produce poultry food products in the region. These discussions have focused on the need to protect jobs and the local economy. Workers and producers are now exploring the idea of establishing a community-owned cooperative to produce a range of quality products for local, regional and international markets.

The project has received in-principle support from Inghams’ management, the South Australian State Ministers for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, and Manufacturing and Innovation; and local government concerned about jobs in the region. Recently, following advice from South Australian Premier Leon Bignall, the group became an incorporated body under the name of ‘Fleurieu Poultry Association’ with office bearers representing producers, factory workers and the community. Workers and producers will be joined by South Australian Premier, Leon Bignall and the McLaren Vale community, including local chefs and wine makers – and now celebrity chef Simon Bryant – to launch of the project and speak to media.

Fleurieu Poultry Association PUBLIC MEETING

Monday 1 December, 5.30pm

McLaren Vale Institute Hall

151 Main Road McLaren Vale

Media contact: Emma Kerin, NUW, 0448 555 112