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Bindaree secures Monbeef processing plant from Japanese owners

Jon Condon, 03/04/2023

NORTHERN New South Wales beef processor Bindaree Food Group has finalised an agreement to purchase the Monbeef processing plant near Cooma in the state’s south.

The deal, expected to be completed after Easter, was confirmed by Bindaree’s chief commercial officer Andrew Simpson this morning.

Beef Central first flagged Bindaree’s possible interest in purchasing the Japanese-owned Monbeef business in this article back in November.

Monbeef is a smaller-scale hot boning export plant processing around 150-180 head per day near Cooma. Most of the kill is made up of dairy and beef cows plus bulls, primarily producing frozen manufacturing beef. The US is the plant’s single largest market, with about 70pc of all production exported.

The plant is modern, by Australian processing standards, having been built only in 1998.

MonBeef was bought in 2019 by Japanese meat trading company S Foods, which continues to do large volumes of beef trade out of Australia.

As this earlier article reports, the plant (along with several others) closed in late 2020, due to the sustained market pressures and financial losses being experienced by processors at the time. In October last year it re-opened, performing a small weekly service kill on cows and bulls, to produce manufacturing beef for Bindaree.

Once Bindaree completes the purchase of the plant, it intends to increase production to full single shift capacity, with the employment of about 100 personnel, processing about 1100 head per week.

Bindaree has had a long association with Monbeef through its Sanger export trade business. Sanger was the main export partner for Monbeef since the plant opened in 1998.

The Monbeef business provided versatility for the Bindaree Food group with the facility having access to Indonesia and Malaysia in addition to targeting specific US end-user customers, Mr Simpson said.

Bindaree has a large supply contract for beef with supermarket chains and domestic wholesale, processing ground beef from Monbeef into retail ready packs through the company’s Burleigh value-adding facility in southern Queensland.

Service kill strategy to avoid downturn

One of the strategies adopted by Bindaree during the past two years of extreme cattle supply shortage across Eastern Australia was to provide greater access for service kill at the company’s Inverell plant in northern NSW, toll processing for several large grainfed supply chains.

That opportunity gathered pace when several other large eastern Australian export processors providing service kills were suspended from the China market in 2020, causing some service kill customers to seek alternatives.

Bindaree Inverell holds a chilled and frozen license to supply China, making it an attractive target among Wagyu supply chains seeking to maintain trade into China.

Bindaree also service kills for a major national supermarket group at Inverell, helping keep volume up during difficult supply periods as the national beef herd recovered.

As part of that greater focus on service kills, the Inverell plant has largely transformed into a grainfed processor, and Bindaree Beef’s own meat trading business no longer has access to the same killing capacity through the plant that it once did.

It’s meant cow processing numbers through the Inverell plant are now much more limited, leading to the interest in the Monbeef hot boning plant.

S Foods chose not to provide comment for this article.

 

 

 

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  1. Tim Dorahy, 03/04/2023

    Monbeef did not have any association at all with Bindaree Beef between 1997 to 2019.

    Monbeef did use Sanger and other Trading Companies as well.

    Thanks for your comment, Tim. In using the word ‘association’, we simply meant that Bindaree used Sanger to sell its export beef, and Monbeef did the same. We didn’t mean to imply that there was any direct connection between the two companies. Editor




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