Client: AFFCO NZ Limited

Industries: Meat Production

Services: Lead Environmental Consultant, Ecological Surveys, Assessment of Environmental Effects, Environmental Monitoring

AFFCO is one of New Zealand’s leading meat companies, processing and exporting more than 150,000 tonnes of quality beef and lamb products every year.  The company operates ten strategically located processing sites across the North Island of New Zealand, employing over 2,800 people nationwide.

Meat processing has been undertaken at the Horotiu site for over 100 years.  The AFFCO Horotiu facility is located about 10 km north of Hamilton, on Heavy Industry-zoned land.  Since 2005 AFFCO has engaged ARGO as Lead Environmental Consultant to undertake a number of environmental management and consenting activities at the Horotiu plant.

Our Roles:

In 2007 Argo was commissioned to coordinate consent variations relating to a proposed dairy factory at Horotiu. Argo prepared an Assessment of Environmental Effects to determine the impact that proposed variations would have. This involved utilising data sets collected previously by Argo, including historical compliance sampling and a study undertaken in April 2007 to assess water quality and in-river biota in relation to the discharge at that time. Consultation was also undertaken with Environment Waikato, Waikato-Tainui and the local community.

In 2014 Argo was commissioned by AFFCO to organise applications for a suite of replacement consents for AFFCO as several of them were expiring in 2016. A full Assessment of Environmental Effects was prepared as part of this process which included consents  for taking water from the Waikato River, placing a diffuser structure on the river bed, discharging treated wastewater and stormwater, discharging contaminants to air, and discharges to land. A number of consents also required variations, and some new consents were applied for. Work undertaken for the Assessment of Environmental Effects included a baseline study of the existing Waikato River environment and catchment characteristics, a study of the existing discharge effects on the water quality and ecology of the river and the predicted effects of the new and varied consents. It also included Management and Monitoring Plans and Spill Contingency Planning. Argo also carried out a Freshwater Ecological Resources Assessment. Argo coordinated expert witnesses at the WRC hearing and presented evidence on Planning and Ecological matters.

In 2007 and 2011, Argo produced Biological and Water Quality Monitoring Reports in relation to the AFFCO Wastewater Discharge covering water quality, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes to comply with consent conditions.

Since late 2014 Argo has assisted AFFCO with representation in the Healthy Rivers Wai Ora programme relating to implementation of the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

Since 2015, Argo has been undertaking pathogen monitoring on site at AFFCO Horotiu to assist with assessment of effects on the Waikato River.