Joe’s Poultry Processors

Cleaner Production Changes - Plenty to Crow About: Joe's Poultry Processors


Courtesy of Joe’s Poultry Processors

By implementing a number of simple measures recommended by consultants, Joe’s Poultry has been able to save $54,000 with an overall payback period of less than 4 months. Through these measures, electricity and gas consumption has been reduced by 16 and 15 percent respectively. Water consumption has been cut by 8.8kL per day.

Other measures, if implemented, could produce savings of almost $1 million and lead to the creation of 3 new jobs.


Joe’s Poultry ranks as the largest family owned and managed poultry processor in South Australia. The company has expanded its product line to include high quality, smoked and ready to eat poultry to add to the many traditional dressed lines. The company employs 90 people, and Joe’s Smoked Poultry is the number one selling product of its type in South Australia, with growing exports to Hong Kong and China.

The Process

Processing operations at Joe’s Poultry plant are shown in the diagram below

During processing, around 20 litres of water is used per bird. Approximately 35 litres per minute of water is wasted in overflow from the scalder.

Feathers, offal and blood were all mixed in together, and being unsorted, were deemed poor quality. About 95 tonnes were produced each week, comprising: 50 tonnes of offal; 35 tonnes of feathers; and 10 tonnes of blood. The waste was collected by Inghams Enterprises, a national poultry producer and processor, for conversion into by-products at a charge of $500 per week.

Cleaner Production Initiative

A consultancy study into the company’s operations recommended a range of measures aimed at improving management, streamlining operations, and reducing water and energy use. The study was funded with a grant of $15,000 from the South Australian Environment Protection Agency under its Cleaner Industries Demonstration Scheme.

Principal initiatives put in place as a result of the study included:

  • Increase in the weight of birds able to be processed. Regardless of weight, since the same amount of water and energy is consumed in processing each bird, electricity and natural gas consumption per kg dressed weight decreased by 16 percent and 15 percent respectively.
  • Installation of new equipment to separate feathers, offal and blood. Due to the improved quality, Inghams Enterprises no longer charged for their collection.
  • Redesign of the outlet weir on the scalder to minimise water loss as poultry carcasses left the scalder. This reduced daily water wastage by 8.8kL or 55 percent.

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