Undercover Boss a worthy window into the beef industry

Jon Condon, 29/09/2011

Sometimes criticised among young job seekers as a less than desirable industry in which to find work, the beef processing sector comes across as a professional, dedicated and dynamic workplace in an entertaining TV program being broadcast tonight.

Channel 10’s “Undercover Boss” is an Australian spin-off of a popular US TV series.

Tonight’s episode focuses on JBS Australia chief executive and director Iain Mars, who goes ‘undercover’ working in disguise in different segments of the business to look for its strengths and potential weaknesses.

Among other exploits, a game Iain Mars spends time loading cattle in Central Queensland; in the Food Partners burger pattie manufacturing plant; working in a company feedlot; and pushing beef on the rail in the chillers. The scenes are entertaining, enlightening in their insights into personal lives and attitudes of staff, and often comical.

The looks of disbelief when Iain Mars tells his senior management team of his plans to infiltrate the grassroots levels of the business are priceless.

Having seen a sneak preview of the program, it occurred to Beef Central that JBS took a huge punt in placing itself, and Iain, at the mercy of the program’s producers. The result could very easily have backfired, but instead, the program reflects exceptionally well on the dedicated and hard-working people engaged in the Australian beef industry.

The old industry clichés of being a boring, dirty and mundane workplace are swept away by the portrayal of a modern, quality-focussed, well-equipped, energetic and extremely diverse company.

If anything, Monday’s episode of Undercover Boss is likely to capture the imagination of more young potential industry recruits, whether they want to work as a feedlot pen rider, boner, cattle buyer or trainee manager.

  • Tune-in to Undercover Boss on Channel 10 at 8.30pm tonight.


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