Australia’s export of important heart valve alternatives to the United States affected by labor shortages


Australian companies supplying the United States with alternatives to human heart valves are struggling to fulfill export orders due to a labor shortage in the industry.

Queensland-based Nolan Meats is one of the Australian companies certified to supply US medical companies with bovine tissue for the replacement of heart valves created from the delicate tissue around the bovine heart. Only two-thirds of the total workforce is in operation. Causes a decline in the supply of life-saving products, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Australian drought
On August 26, 2019, cattle are fed from a drought-stricken farm valley near Armidale, New South Wales. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP / Getty Images)

“We fly it every night, and it travels to the United States, and they make heart valves for transplantation into humans, so you’re actually saving human lives by collecting that product. “Nolan Meet Terry Nolan’s director said.

“But there are days when we don’t collect because there are no people to collect.”

Made from the pericardial tissue that surrounds the bovine heart, the thin, durable tissue is an integral part of transcatheter aortic valve indwelling (TAVI) used to treat aortic stenosis.

Aortic stenosis is a heart disease in which the opening of the aortic valve narrows due to the accumulation of calcium.

Epoch Times Photo
Made from pericardial tissue (the sac around the bovine heart), the thin but durable tissue is a transcatheter aortic valve indwelling (TAVI) used to treat aortic stenosis. This is an important part. (Australia Trade Promotion Agency)

Nolan said other models are manufactured by an American company, and his company’s supply limits have not yet affected the availability of artificial heart valves.

Edwards Life Sciences, a US company, imported more than 100,000 batches of organization on flights from Australia in early 2020 alone. Australian Trade Promotion Agency..

However, it was a concern for Nolan that he was active with 500 to 550 workers before the pandemic, but now has only 350 workers.

“When I see a valuable product rendered, it’s very disappointing because there’s no one to handle it,” Nolan said.

In addition, due to labor shortages around the world, cowhide prices have fallen from about $ 78 to $ 8-10.

“It doesn’t take long to implement all of this. Suddenly you lose $ 120 per person. [of cattle] No one harvests or packs the product, “he said.

“I don’t want to see the price of beef go higher anymore. It is our desire for consumers to try to make the price of beef cheaper in order to promote more consumption.”

Patrick Hutchinson, CEO of the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), told ABC that the labor shortage is affecting meat retailers, processors, and small manufacturers.

“Looking at our supply chain, about 10,000 people, from the moment a truck leaves a sales yard, feedlot, or farm, to lean and pork processing, refrigeration, logistics, wholesale, and value. There is a shortage. In addition, supermarket preparation, butchers, and a small good manufacturing industry, “Hutchinson said.

“We don’t waste it at all. It’s not just meat, it’s medical parts, cosmetics, foodstuffs, clothing, and sustainable energy.”

Hutchinson added that the meat industry is unable to process 6 million cattle annually and the number of cattle, sheep and goats is expected to increase by up to 30 percent over the next few years.

“It’s a vicious circle. If we don’t have the ability to handle it, it’s all in vain. We need people. If we could swing the magic wand, there would be more than 10,000 people. Having an international workforce program will help fill the job gap, he added.

The Australian Meat Industry Council is being asked for comment.

According to the OECD, Australia is currently experiencing the second most severe labor shortage in the developed world. Australian Financial Review..