Alliance Group's Pukeuri plant in North Otago processed its highest ever number of cattle over the 2018-19 season.

The co-operative processed over 71,000 cattle at Pukeuri during the beef season, which finished on 30th September, setting a record for the plant.

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The Pukeuri result follows Alliance's Mataura plant setting a cattle processing record last season.

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Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor said the record was the result of hard work and commitment from the Pukeuri team and farmers supporting the co-operative.

"The achievement reflects our significant investment in strengthening our beef processing capabilities at Pukeuri and Mataura. The increased volume of livestock is also due to a strong focus on maximising our manufacturing capabilities across our network.

"Beef is a growing part of our business and initiatives such as our Handpicked offer and 55 Day Aged Beef show how serious we are.

"We are benefiting from strong demand for our beef from markets such as China and wider Asia so the performance of Pukeuri is making a meaningful contribution to the co-operative and our global customers".

Alliance Group had invested significantly in the Pukeuri plant in recent years, including making safety improvements and reconfiguring the plant's beef primary process to enable increased throughputs, he said.

The Pukeuri plant's co-products processing area has also been upgraded and a new facility created to help boost the recovery of products for sale to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

At its peak, the plant employs more than 900 people and is a cornerstone of the North Otago economy.