WESTERN Australia's largest sheep and lamb processing co-operative, WAMMCO, will return a record $8.4 million in pool bonuses to its producer members at the end of August 2022.
The 2021/22 financial year bonus includes 80 cents per kilogram for qualifying lambs and 40c/kg for qualifying mutton on deliveries to Katanning by about 700 contributing members.
The bonus is $6.4m more than last year, and $4.1m more than any other year in the co-operative's history.
It takes the total payout of pool bonuses by WAMMCO over the past nine years to a total of $31.25m.
WAMMCO group chief executive Coll MacRury said the result was extremely pleasing given the daunting impacts of labour shortages and crippling shipping and logistics issues.
"Servicing key offshore markets with a depleted labour shortage has posed a major problem and the team has worked tirelessly with producers to keep our customers as happy as possible," Mr MacRury said.
Mr MacRury predicted that labour shortages would continue to be the major challenge for WAMMCO going into the new season.
"We are working hard to find suitable offshore workers that can fill some of the many gaps in our labour force," he said.
"The entire industry is in the same boat and better access to offshore workers has to be a priority for WA.
"The annual Katanning plant shutdown has been reduced to one week at the beginning of August and will then allow six weeks to address a serious backlog of old-season' lamb, particularly if there is a run of hot, dry weather."
WAMMCO's 2021/22 result will be finalised at the annual meeting in Katanning in October.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.