Alliance Group beefing up facilities to meet demand for blood products
Alliance Group will invest $1.7 million in two plants in order to meet growing demand for New Zealand-sourced blood products.
In Pukeuri in Oamaru it will build a new facility created to help boost the recovery of blood-based products for sale to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, the cooperative said in a statement. The meat processor will also improve the recovery of offal and upgrade the pet food area, it said.
Blood products are used in the development of vaccines, cancer treatments and drugs to treat neurodegenerative, haematological and endocrine disorders, according to Alliance. A spokesman said the cooperative supplies New Zealand companies that then sell to their own customers.
It will also invest in its Lorneville plant near Invercargill to extract more value from blood products. The cooperative has installed a laboratory-standard blood processing facility at the plant, it said.
Alliance, the world's largest processor and exporter of sheepmeat, had seen a "substantial lift" in demand from the pharmaceutical industry for New Zealand-sourced blood products, chief executive David Surveyor said.
"The range of beef offal captured at Pukeuri is currently limited due to the size of the space at the plant. Part of capturing more value is optimising the collection of blood products from processed animals. This upgrade will boost the capacity of our bovine offal and blood capture facilities significantly," he said.
New Zealand currently exports about $92 million of blood products to the European Union and $36.5 million to the US for pharmaceutical purposes each year, according to government figures, although the data doesn't differentiate between animal and human sources.