Primo’s big expansion plans

Jon Condon, 31/08/2011


Primo managing director, Paul LedererSmallgoods and value-adding company Primo plans to expand its beef-based product range following an announcement yesterday that the company will build Australia’s largest smallgoods facility at Wacol, in Brisbane’s west.

The new $130 million facility is expected to create 600 new jobs and will be a ‘best-in-class’ large scale manufacturing plant comprising food processing, cold storage and distribution arms.

Primo's new facility will bring all its operations under one roof and deliver a threefold increase on existing capacity.

"Primo's plans to expand its operations, introducing a broader range of production lines for ham, bacon, pastrami, silverside, beef and other processed meat products, is the vote of confidence the industry needs," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said in a statement.

The new project would bring Primo's employee base in Queensland to around 1680. Trade and Investment Queensland supported Primo's investment through its Regional Queensland Investment Incentive Scheme, providing financial incentives to companies looking to set up business outside the Greater Brisbane area.

Headquartered in Chullora in NSW, family-owned Primo owns and operates manufacturing plants, packing facilities, distribution warehouses and abattoirs across Eastern Australia.

In Queensland, Primo currently employs 277 staff across its existing manufacturing facility at Wacol as well as distribution facilities at Hemmant and Cairns, plus an additional 800 people through its Hans Continental Smallgoods operations.

Catering for both the domestic and export markets, Primo holds a unique position in the industry by owning and operating abattoirs, manufacturing plants, packing facilities and distribution warehouses.

By controlling these critical stages of the production and distribution process, the company says it maintains the highest level of quality control in the industry.

Primo Smallgoods was founded in 1985, operating out of a small manufacturing facility in Homebush, Sydney. In 1991 the company expanded into Queensland with the acquisition of Gold Cob Smallgoods.

On top of its existing Port Wakefield pork abattoir in South Australia, the company ten years ago purchased the Scone abattoir in the Hunter Valley, killing beef, sheep and pigs. Scone now provides the platform for Primo Meats Australia, an expanding fresh meat business, and raw material for further processing.

Primo Smallgoods has since become a national brand with a strong presence in major supermarket shelves, and the company has invested heavily in marketing to continue to grow the brand both in Australia and overseas, and technology to deliver greater plant efficiency and performance.

The company is still owned and operated by the original shareholders, who have worked together for the past 35 years.


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