We finally have power and the pellet mill has been running on and off for 3 weeks now.
We are still having mechanical issues daily but hope that in the next few weeks they will be sorted and we can start working on our back order list. It will be a mammoth task filling all the stores again so it could be a month or even longer before you start seeing it return to the shelf at your local store.
Thank you for continuing to support us as we recover and we simply cannot wait to be able to supply all of our customers with the Hardwood Litter again.
The Oz-Pet manufacturing facility is situated in Woodburn, Northern NSW. The town, and our site are situated beside the Richmond River a major tributary that starts at the NSW/QLD border and runs 170 Km past towns like Lismore to the ocean at Ballina. In late February/early March 2022 the heavy rains caused the worst flooding to our district in 100 years. Initially our factory was inundated by flood waters emerging through the district’s drains. Subsequently, the Richmond River broke its banks, causing the most severe flooding throughout the whole of the Northern Rivers district.
The flood waters rose at a very rapid rate from this deluge, eventually reaching a depth of over three metres throughout our factory within three days of the flood commencing. All Oz-Pet’s packaged bag stock on hand, tray accessories, packaging, and raw materials in the plant were washed away throughout the area. These waters also completely covered many pieces of our equipment and the total electrical system. We were shocked and devastated.
Our factory could not be accessed for over 10 days due to road blockages and debris. Once we could gain entry an enormous job was before us. Assessments were undertaken and a major cleaning operation commenced. Not only did we have to remove the mud from every area we had to begin the drying out, cleaning, and refurbishment of all our equipment. The manufacturing plant has had to be totally rebuilt from scratch. The extensive flooding that occurred throughout all the East Coast resulted in long delays for Oz-Pet as we went about sourcing replacements. Additionally, we had to begin the arduous process of rebuilding our electrical systems, and order a new switchboard.
Additionally, we had to work out what our supply situation would be during these times. We quickly exhausted the SOH in our state depots. Then we had to arrange contract packing to maintain the Oz-Pet Litter with our retail customers, cat breeders, rescue sites and support the numerous cat shows, pet expos and associations we sponsor. We have done this with Oz-Pet Pine Litter.
Once our manufacturing site was cleaned, and part of the packing line restored we were able to return the packing in-house by using a generator. Whilst this is expensive to operate it allowed us to maintain supplies to our customers as we gradually were able to replenish all our depots. This situation has continued for over 12 months while we restored our plant. We have had many setbacks. This included replacement equipment being slow to source due to supply chain delays, and new regulatory guidelines have been introduced by several authorities following the flood that require additional changes to our factory setup.
This has been an exhausting and frustrating process, not only for Oz-Pet but our clients. We are now in the final stages of reconnecting the electricity to our site and testing each piece of equipment to ensure it is functioning correctly before we can commence full production of our traditional Oz-Pet Cat & Pet Litter, Oz-Pet Crumbles Litter, and Oz-Pet Pine Litter. This will occur over the next few weeks. We will be speaking with everyone in the coming weeks as the availability of our litter improves, and we refill the pipelines of our customers.
Thank you for continuing to support us over the last 18 months as we recover and we simply cannot wait to be able to supply all of our customers with the Original Oz-Pet Litter again.
For some of our customers, you maybe already aware that our manufacturing mill is in Woodburn NSW, which on the 28th February had the largest flood in history and our mill did not escape the 3 metres of water that came bursting through the whole town.
We are in the middle of testing our manufacturing equipment to see what we need to do so we can get up and running again, so we are able to produce our Original Oz-Pet litter – these bags have Green writing on them:
While we are unable to manufacture the Original Oz-Pet litter, we have managed to secure a company in Brisbane and a company in Sydney, to bag our Oz-Pet Pine litter that we had been selling for a few months – these bags have Orange writing on them:
These will be coming soon to retail pet stores
The main difference between the 2 different litters is that the pine litter will break down a lot quicker and you may find that it tracks easily by the cats/kittens paws, we recommend that you put down a litter mat underneath the litter tray that extends out the front where the cats/kittens jump in and out of them, this should help with some of the litter pieces.