MEDIA RELEASE Friday 13 August 2021
On 3 August 2021, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) surveyed its meat processing and smallgoods manufacturing members on the current worker vaccination rates. Of the respondents, the results show that on average nationally, only 12% of members have 60% or more their total workforce fully vaccinated.
Over half of the vaccinations are done at vaccination hubs off-site and a further 25% are at a doctor. Only 11% are on-site vaccinations.
“AMIC is always supportive of members taking the most appropriate action in all business and people matters to maintain a safe work environment, even if this includes mandating COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Patrick Hutchinson, AMIC CEO.
“Our industry is aware that there is a large amount of AstraZeneca vaccine available, however due to changing health advice, we have seen vaccination hesitancy, which shows in our survey results.
“As an industry, we will continue to encourage workers to get vaccinated with whatever vaccine is available, however, we need to ensure that employees have confidence in the vaccine they are receiving in order for our industry, which has been classed as high-risk category, to be fully vaccinated,” he said.
AMIC has been at the forefront this week on the public discussion of mandatory vaccinations. The survey results back up AMIC’s position that there is a challenge for our industry to go down the path of mandatory vaccination while there are current issues around vaccine supply, vaccination hesitancy, and more importantly, that 45% of members do not feel that they are being prioritised in the 1B high risk category vaccine rollout.
“We are a 1B vaccination priority industry, yet nearly half of our members surveyed don’t believe they have been prioritised in this way by local health services,” said Hutchinson.
Of the respondents, 30% have vaccination incentives in place for staff, which range from cash, gift cards, food vouchers, meat trays and paid half days.
“We need the total vaccination rates across the meat industry improved greatly across Australia.”
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), is the sole Peak Industry body representing the post-farm gate meat industry, including processors, smallgoods manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors through to independent retail butchers and exporters.
Catharine Heffernan, General Manager, Communications