Processing

Greenham unveils new state of the art Tongala beef plant + PICTURES

Beef Central, 09/10/2023

Managing director Peter Greenham addresses Saturday’s Tongala plant opening gathering. Click on image for a larger view

Victorian red meat processor HW Greenham & Sons officially opened its new state of the art Tongala beef plant on Saturday, bringing new employment and cattle supply opportunities to Victoria’s Murray Plains region.

The event signifies not only a major achievement for Greenham, a sixth generation family-owned processing business, but also heralds a new era of economic opportunity for the local community.

The initiative marks the first new processing facility built in Victoria since the 1990s. The project’s design focuses on animal welfare, safety, and zero-waste carcase utilisation.

Saturday’s opening event was a diverse celebration attended by international and domestic beef customers, local livestock producers and members of the local community.

The facility was officially opened by local Federal MP for Nicholls Sam Birrell. The Federal government supported the project through a $10 million grant under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

“Greenham’s sustainable and efficient production is world-leading, and their commitment to this facility showcases confidence in the food bowl of Australia and its farmers, Mr Birrell said.

“The impact of this project has been significant through the use of local contractors, and the investment will continue to yield economic benefits to the region through increased processing efficiency and employment.”

The journey at Tongala began in 1993, and 30 years later in 2023, Greenham has ushered in a new era with its multi-million-dollar investment into the complete redevelopment of the Tongala site. Read this earlier Beef Central article for details about the project.

The transformation has greatly enhanced the plant’s processing capabilities, with a new processing capacity of 1050 cattle per day. The site will create an additional 230 jobs upon reaching total capacity. See Beef Central’s earlier article last week about the confluence of four new processing plants kicking off at a similar time in southern Australia.

The plant’s expanded capabilities now allow it to process a variety of cattle types, including the ability to handle high-quality cattle designed to produce chilled beef, providing new opportunities for the region’s cattle suppliers.

Peter Greenham addressing Saturday’s official Tongala opening

Greenham managing director Peter Greenham told the official opening the new facility represented a pivotal moment for his company.

“Greenham’s dedication to branding and marketing ensures that these exceptional cattle products make their way onto menus at renowned restaurants worldwide, further enhancing the reputation of these premium offerings,” he said.

“Leveraging the latest technology, we are poised to deliver exceptional beef to consumers worldwide in a way that’s sustainable and efficient.”

Among the many investments made during the upgrade, the facility boasts 1000 solar panels, harnessing clean and renewable solar energy, while also utilising co-generation systems for electricity and heat capture. Combined, these provide 70 percent of the plant’s energy needs, and upgraded water recycling capabilities are reducing water consumption by up to 30pc.

These efforts aligned with Greenham’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, including advanced water recycling practices, the opening audience was told.

The facility also features substantially increased freezing capacity to meet global export demands.

“Greenham can extract the most value out of every animal with state-of-the-art trim management systems and cutting-edge technology to process all parts of the animal,” Mr Greenham said during the opening.

Value-adding is another focus, with precise portioning for retail and the development of new products and brands.

Following a soft-start mid-year, Tongala has focussed on refining processes and systems, reaching a projected capacity of 700 cattle per day by Christmas before building to its full projected capacity of 1050 cattle per day by May 2024.

As the new facility ramps up production, Greenham invites skilled and unskilled individuals to join its team and contribute to the company’s progress.

“As we expand our operations at the new facility, we will continue to run both shifts at Tongala’s existing hot boning facility to meet the requirements of our suppliers of cows and bulls,” Greenham said in an earlier statement.

Expanded brand capability

Greenham’s Tasmanian and Gippsland operations have built a strong portfolio of premium beef brands, including Cape Grim Beef, Bass Strait, Wanderer and Pure Black Barley Fed Angus.

With the addition of the new Tongala facility, Greenham expands its processing capabilities, increasing the supply of existing brands while also creating opportunities for the launch of new products and brands.

“Our investment in the Tongala facility will see us here for another 30 years and continue our commitment to our employees, local producers and the community,” Peter Greenham told Saturday’s launch gathering.

 

 

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  1. Terry Nolan, 09/10/2023

    Congratulations Peter and your team!

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