WELLARD has processed its 500,000th head of livestock through its Woodanilling abattoir, Beaufort River Meats (BRM).
The company hit the milestone with a 19.3 kilogram mutton carcase, which has been broken and frozen for export to Taiwan.
More than two thirds of the half a million animals processed at BRM have been mutton and one quarter have been lambs.
The remainder of the throughput included rams, goats and some deer.
Previously BRM only supplied frozen product, however since it was purchased by Wellard it has developed a large, vibrant air freight chilled carcase trade to the Middle East.
Smaller mutton carcases are predominantly used for six-way product and the larger animals are allocated to the frozen whole carcase market.
BRM is supplying markets including all of the Middle East, Taiwan, the United States, Canada, West Indies, Jordan, Israel, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore.
In recent weeks BRM received approval to export processed sheep, goats and deer to China.
BRM general manager David Jarvie said the BRM operation was going from strength to strength with a co-ordinated buying program, committed abattoir staff and management, and an expanding market penetration created by the trading staff of Wellard.
"Importantly, the change from seasonal operations to year-round processing has enabled BRM to attract and retain high quality staff, which is crucial in the food business," Mr Jarvie said.
"In my 30 years in the industry I have never been in an abattoir with such a great, productive atmosphere."
BRM has operated continually and seamlessly since November 2012, when Wellard purchased the facility from the Macri family, who remain integrally involved with the abattoir's day-to-day operations.
"With robust forward orders, we expect operations to keep going at full speed until a routine maintenance period in winter,'' said Mr Jarvie.
In addition to purchasing small stock from throughout WA, Wellard has been able to use its Baldivis feedlot to grow out store lambs to weights and grades suitable for processing at BRM.