Australian Country Choice (ACC), based in Brisbane, Queensland, was established in 1960 and is today the world’s largest family-owned, vertically integrated cattle and beef supply chain organisation.
ACC is dedicated to the best-practice supply of high-quality meat products to domestic and export markets. Their operations encompass everything from cattle breeding, backgrounding, and lot feeding to beef primary processing and multi-specie further processing, value-adding, retail packing, and distribution. With over 300,000 head of cattle, high-level care and monitoring of their livestock are integral to ACC’s success.
The COVID-19 Pandemic introduced a whole range of operational implications for the beef processing industry, whose production capabilities depend on just-in-time delivery from end to end with no room for major downtime that may be caused by a workforce reduction due to illness. The risk of shutdown implicates a serious risk of cattle being left uncared for.
Respond Global was approached by ACC to work with them reviewing their current COVID-19 protocols, plans, and implementation strategy in an effort to keep their employees safe, business operational, and customers supplied with meat products critical for food security. Respond Global assisted ACC in further developing the capability and agility to respond to an outbreak. This support included the production of comprehensive training materials and information products for all staff, scenario-based pressure testing, and ongoing support into the future on a retainer basis. To date, ACC’s implementation of rapid antigen testing has stopped numerous COVID-19-positive employees from entering the workplace, enabling their operations to continue uninterrupted.
ACC were recently recognised for their efforts at the 2022 National Safety Council of Australia’s (NSCA) Awards of Excellence. The awards recognise outstanding Work Health and Safety initiatives, and ACC were recognised in two categories – Best Communication of a Safety Message, for their management of COVID-19 workforce communication, and Best Safety Leadership Program/Initiative, which was awarded to ACC CEO, Anthony Lee.