An award-winning kangaroo processor in mid-north South Australia is to close because of complaints about odour.
- Dews Meats, the town’s largest private employer, will shut in mid-October
- The award-winning kangaroo processor is also known as Orroroo Kangaroo
- The shutdown is because of complaints from neighbours about the smell
Orroroo-based Dew’s Meats, also known as Orroroo Kangaroo, will shut in mid-October to comply with a council-issued abatement notice.
The business employed 13 people, mostly from Orroroo and nearby Peterborough, and was the largest private employer in the town.
“Over the course of the years we have tried to deal with the odour by cooking at different times, also making sure we’ve got pristine product going into the oven [and] we also freeze them to keep them as fresh as we can,” owner Taryn Ackland said.
“We had a space of two years where we thought we’d actually fixed the problem, but invariably we found out that we hadn’t fixed the problem or that there was an issue again with odour and our neighbours were complaining once again.”
The complaints escalated in recent months and, after failing to find a suitable solution, the Orroroo-Carrieton council told the business to stop cooking kangaroo bones.
“We’ve had to consider our position, and we’re closing down because of it.”
Long-running issue comes to a head
Dew’s Meats was cooking kangaroo bones for nine years.
“The EPA said we had to do something other than bury them, which we were doing years ago,” Ms Ackland said.
“So we started cooking them, and that product became very popular. We are selling it overseas — America and New Zealand — as well as the Australian market.”
The company also produces products like kangaroo schnitzels, kebabs and leather.
But the bones were the main source of business.
Ms Ackland said her employees were disappointed.
“A little bit angry, as we all were, but if we continued cooking we would’ve had fines,” she said.
Ms Ackland investigated several options to allow the business to continue, including moving to leased premises, as suggested by the District Council of Orroroo-Carrieton.
“We would have to do power installation and put infrastructure out there and I wasn’t prepared to go out to a leased site and [spend] that kind of money,” she said.
Local deliveries have stopped and the business will close once it has processed its two remaining international orders on October 15.
Dew’s Meats has traded since 1977.
The District Council of Orroroo-Carrieton said Dew’s Meats was an important part of the local economy.
“Council is disappointed by the planned closure of Dew’s Meats, and empathises with employees, and employees’ families,” council CEO Dylan Strong said.
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