SunPork CEO Rob van Barneveld and Swickers Manager of General Operations Linchon Hawks at the KCCI May Meeting.
SunPork CEO Rob van Barneveld and Swickers Manager of General Operations Linchon Hawks at the KCCI May Meeting. Tobi Loftus

Swickers workers to return later this month

EXECUTIVES at Swickers have confirmed workers will return to the business later this month.

Speaking at the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting on Monday night general operations manager Linchon Hawks said a temporary boning room would be in operation from May 29.

"We've built a temporary boning (facility) off the back of one of our wholesale facilities,” Mr Hawks said.

"It will house the boning facility until we can reinstate what's out the front.

"The reason for that is the insurer has a lot of concern, as well as the company, about getting their people back to Kingaroy. It's paying a heavy toll on family life, they are our single biggest asset. Without them we don't have a business.”

Following the fire on November 6 that destroyed the boning room, cold room and export facilities, 140 workers moved to a facility at Ipswich.

"We're trying to get them back as soon as possible,” Mr Hawks said.

"This new facility will be in operation for about four months, then we should be back in our main boning room.”

As well as the temporary boning room, Mr Hawks said temporary cold rooms had been set up in the car park to support boning.

"The first bone in that room will be on May 29 and we will move back in two shifts,” he said.

"The following week we will bring the second shift back and the reason for that is to give us a soft start to make sure everything runs smoothly.

"If there are any issues we can fall back into the other facility and catch up.”

SunPork CEO Rob van Barneveld said despite the fire, the business was still growing.

"People have realised how important Swickers is,” Mr van Barneveld said.

"We're going to come out better than we were.

"We've got 110 contractors and still on track to continue growing.”

South Burnett

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