Scott Technology has signed an $11.2 million deal with New Zealand meat processor Silver Fern Farms.

The automation and robotics company told the New Zealand stock exchange (NZX) this morning that the investment would involve Scott Technology delivering a fully automated lamb-processing system for the Silver Fern Farms Finegand plant in South Otago.

Scott chief executive John Kippenberger said he was delighted to be partnering “once again” with Silver Fern Farms as the well-known meat producer and exporter had been an enduring partner.

“The contract is strategically important for Scott,” he said.

“In the late 2000s, we worked in collaboration to develop an early iteration of our automated lamb-processing technology.”

The new primal system built for Silver Fern Farms would use advanced x-ray and vision technology and deliver even higher cutting accuracy. 

Kippenberger said it would also help enable “important improvements” in health and safety, by removing a lot of manual heavy cutting.

The system is to be designed and built in Scott’s Dunedin meat-processing centre of excellence, with delivery expected to be in late 2023.

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Simon Limmer said the two businesses had been able to build a strong working relationship through an “alignment in values”.

“Scott’s automated meat-processing technology is world-class, and this modernisation will help drive a positive return to our farmer suppliers and our consumers the world over,” he said.

The total deal amount is expected to be about $13m, on the back of Silver Fern Farms’ purchase of several standalone automation units for other sites.

Scott Technology shares were down 0.7% to $2.87 in very light trading this morning.