Visy to guide Australia’s food industry into Asian markets

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th November 2012

Australian recycling company Visy has announced it intends to take a leadership and guidance role to help the Australian food industry expand in Asian markets.

At the opening of its new $50 Million recycled packaging plant in Sydney last Friday, Visy CEO Anthony Pratt said that Visy aimed to provide a “pivotal role” in growing the Asian market opportunities for food and beverage exports from Australia. The food industry makes up 70 per cent of the recycling company’s customer base.

Mr Pratt expressed the belief that his company could help the industry quadruple Australia’s food exports to Asia as part of Visy’s new expansion plans.

Visy, Australia’s largest user of export shipping containers, also provides tamper-proof and shelf-life extending packaging for exporters. Mr Pratt said that a reduction in shipping costs would help the Australian food industry export to Asia.

“We feel that by combining our shipping container purchasing power with our food customers’ shipping container buy, we can help our food customers achieve lower shipping rates. That in turn will help the growth of our logistics business,” Mr Pratt said at the Sydney plant opening.

Mr Pratt said that a previous $500 Million expansion plan at Tumut had facilitated a substantial growth in exports to China.

Visy has also recently set up a trading company in the region that has reportedly saved Visy an annual $100 Million in equipment and supplies.

The announcement comes not long after the Federal government’s release of its Asian Century white paper, a guide to Australia becoming a more prosperous nation “fully open to the world.”

The new packaging plant is located in Smithfield Sydney. It will collect bottles from 3 million households and reprocess them back into recycling for new bottles.  When the plant is fully operational, Mr Pratt said it will take some 2 billion bottles out of the Australian waste stream. The quality of recycled plastic bottles will meet the FDA-approved food-grade plastic standard.

The new plant is an expansion of Visy’s cardboard packaging business into plastic bottle recycling.

Mr Pratt also reiterated Visy’s opposition to any proposed National container deposit schemes. He said that the cost of any new legislation would exceed any environmental benefits.