Yeeda Pastoral Co and its subsidiary Kimberley Meat Co – the country’s most isolated beef processing facility located near Broome in north Washington – held a series of management and board meetings ahead of the 2021 slaughter season
KMC does not anticipate the start of the 2021 slaughter season until the end of April, as a large rainy season throughout the Kimberley catchment has delayed the start of the annual muster.
Yeeda’s Chief Operating Officer David Hanson has taken on the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer after resigning Anthony Wilkes for personal reasons. Laurence Macri will continue to manage Yeeda’s wholly owned subsidiary, Kimberley Meat Co, while Tim Munroe has been promoted to Group Commercial Finance Manager.
Yeeda has also appointed Dr. Steve Petty from Spektrum Agribusiness as a consultant and advisor to help the company manage herds and grazing land.
Dr. Petty has 32 years of experience in the pastoral and agricultural industries of the north and focuses on efficient and profitable business management, business development and the implementation of innovative technologies in rural production systems.
In addition, James Campbell will join Yeeda’s Board of Directors starting next month. Mr. Campbell has 20 years of corporate and commercial experience in the agribusiness with KPMG, ANZ and Sanger Australia. He was a board member of the Red Meat Advisory Council and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation. He is currently Executive Chairman of Amaretto Almonds, a company in the Cibus private equity fund managed by ADM Capital.
Yeeda co-founder and chairman comments on the leadership change Mervyn Key The company is indebted to Anthony Wilkes for the stability and good governance that he brought to the company and conveyed to him after taking over the previous management a year ago.
“Anthony was instrumental in getting Yeeda back on track and we wish him all the best for the future,” said Key.
“We have a strong management team led by Yeeda and the addition of Steve Petty and James Campbell will further strengthen our expertise in the agribusiness and help us position ourselves well for the future,” he said in a statement.
The exceptionally good rainy season in Kimberley has caused pastoral care to delay gathering activities. As a result, KMC will reopen for processing in late April. By then, Yeeda will have completed additional investments in new power generators and large refrigeration systems as well as the further expansion of the stops adjacent to the system.
In 2020, KMC processed around 40,000 head of cattle – a strong performance given the industry’s shortage of cattle – and plans to process a similar number this year through the scheduled annual maintenance shutdown in mid-December.
The impact on meat processors this year due to record high cattle prices and continued limited supply was partly offset by the fact that Yeeda had her own herd of more than 72,000 Brahman and Droughtmaster cattle in Kimberley, Key said.
Yeeda has made further capital investments in his assets and strategic position in Kimberley and Dr. Petty hires to work with the company to further improve the quality of the Yeeda flocks and implement a strategy to improve the condition and sustainability of the Yeeda pastoral rangelands totaling over one million acres.
According to the company, strategies for sustainability and for reducing the carbon footprint are also being implemented.
This includes working with Dr. Petty in evaluating and implementing carbon sequestration opportunities. In addition, Yeeda has begun exploring new green hydrogen technology initiatives that can take advantage of the company’s location at the mouth of the Fitzroy River, which is one of the largest rivers in the world when flooded.
About Yeeda Pastoral Co.
Yeeda Pastoral Co owns and operates the Kimberley Meat Co processing facility located halfway between Broome and Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The facility can process up to 60,000 pieces per year and is the only slaughterhouse in northern WA.
Depending on the seasonal rains, the facility typically operates between late February and early December before being shut down annually during the Kimberley rainy season. In 2019, Kimberley Meat Co was named Regional Exporter of the Year at the prestigious WA Industry and Export Awards sponsored by the Washington government and the Export Council of Australia. In addition to Kimberley Meat Co, Yeeda has several herds of livestock in Kimberley, including Yeeda Station, which covers over a million acres.