Circular Head meat processor Greenham Tasmania has established a unique method of steam production at its export abattoir.

The new process uses a pyrethrum by-product as bio fuel and has almost reduced carbon emissions to zero at the Smithton meatworks site.

Following a significant $1.3m investment and several years of refinement, Greenham is now burning 100% renewable pyrethrum briquettes in order to power the main steam boiler at the site.

Greenham Tasmania managing director Peter Greenham said, “there’s plenty of exciting things about what we’re doing.”

“Numerous farmers are producing beef and pyrethrum at the same time and we can ultimately use both.

“To be able to burn a 100% renewable resource is so much better than burning coal,” Mr Greenham said.

“Through a pretty big investment in equipment, we have greatly reduced our particulate emissions into the atmosphere.”

Many of the farmers in the Cape Grim Beef producers group, which is a renowned brand for Greenham, also grow the pyrethrum daisies which are a pretty sight when farms around the region are blanketed in the trademark white flowers.

Pyrethrum is a perennial crop mainly grown from Circular Head to Deloraine and also in the north.

Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide and is derived from the pyrethrum daisy, Tanacetum cinerariifolium.

It is used in aerosols, for head lice treatments and flea control products for pets.

The active ingredient is concentrated in the flower head and is made up of a combination of six esters known as pyrethrins.

Growing the crop fits into many mixed-farming operations including beef and annual crop rotations of vegetables, cereals and poppies.

Greenham Tasmania has been able to make use of the by-product of the insecticide manufacturing process as a green waste bio fuel which is burnt in the plant’s boiler.

“It adds to the great story of Cape Grim Beef where alongside sustainable pasture grazing, we use 100% Tasmanian based renewable energy from the hydro and wind scheme as well as powering the boilers with what would normally be a waste product,” Mr Greenham said.

Steam production at the Smithton plant is essential for sterilization of equipment, cleaning and also powering the rendering cookers on a daily basis.