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Environment industries archive


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Joe's Poultry Processors
Cleaner Production - Process improvements reduce water, electricity and gas consumption

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 process flow 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:

Process flow diagram

Process flow diagram

Advantages of the Process

Increased bird live weight - No investment was required. Electricity and gas savings on a per kg dressed weight basis amount to almost $26,000 per annum due to this measure.

Improved blood and offal quality - Weekly charges of $500 for waste disposal were waived due to the improved blood and offal quality, equivalent to $26,000 per year in savings. With an investment in new equipment of $2,000, the payback period from this measure was 4 weeks.

New offal and feathers separation equipment

New offal and feathers separation equipment

Redesign of scalder outlet weir - Reduced water consumption of 8.8kL and an annual saving of $2,100 was achieved for an outlay of $600, giving a payback period of 3.5 months.

Increased live bird weight nil $26,000 immediate
Improved blood and offal quality $2,000 $26,000 4 weeks
Reduced water consumption $600 $2,000 3.5 months

Cleaner Production Initiative

Joe's Poultry were keen to increase productivity through better management, changes in processing practices and equipment, and improved layout. They recognised the need to minimise the generation of wastewater and improve its quality.

There was also a desire to improve competitiveness and eliminate dependence on other poultry processors through integrating growing and poultry processing operations, and handling the waste stream internally.


No barriers were encountered in implementing the initial measures recommended in the consultancy study.


Michael Pirone
Joe's Poultry Processors
27 Ridgeway Road
Ph: 08 8252 2599
Fax: 08 8252 2663
Web site:

Implementation: 1997
Case study initially prepared: June 1998 by the South Australian Environment Protection Agency and the Environment Management Industry Association of Australia (EMIAA)



Last reviewed: May 2001