South Australian meat wholesaler sees growth coming from emerging industries

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 20th November 2008

South Australia’s largest meat wholesaler, Holco, has just completed a $4 million capex program to help feed the State’s growth industries.

Holco is expanding its facilities at Cavan to allow it to cater for expected growth in the mining, defence and aged care industries as well as a planned expansion in the Northern Territory. “The future growth of these key industries brings with it a need to feed an expanding workforce and local residents,” Holco Managing Director Michael Rankin said. “We are already active within aged care, mining and defence but we see enormous growth potential for Holco in these industries.”

Mining and aged care, in particular, have been two of the booming sectors in recent years as China fuelled the resources boom while the ageing population continues to lead to a growing need for aged care. And catering to these markets presents an opportunity for expansion for a number of industries, including the food industry.

“Holco has also been supplying quality meat products into the Northern Territory for many years but this is a market in which we see considerable growth in the near future,” Mr Rankin noted.

Each week more than 270 tonnes of fresh meat products including beef, chicken, lamb and pork leaves Holco’s Cavan headquarters ultimately destined for the plates of diners across South Australia and interstate via supermarkets, State Government organisations, commercial caterers, hotel groups, major events and restaurants.

Mr Rankin is determined to continue to pursue controlled growth despite the economic downturn as they believe opportunities for growth have not dried up. The expansion of the Cavan plant involves an extra 1842sqm of additional production space taking the overall plant size to over 7000sqm and incorporating new laser portioning equipment as well as improved labeling and scanning capabilities.

“Our decision to invest more than $4 million to expand and upgrade our Cavan facilities is an integral part of our long-term growth strategy,” he advised. “It also demonstrates we have the capacity right here in South Australia to cater for these growing industries on a cost competitive basis to our interstate rivals.”

Mr Rankin also believes the size of their company is a competitive advantage at the moment as it allows them to adapt to changing market conditions. “The size of our company and our resourcing capacity means we can provide high volumes at short notice to our customers,” he suggested. “In our market, food safety and hygiene standards are critical. So too is speed and reliability as we are often called on by customers in emergency situations to provide quality meat products at the last minute.”