SOUTH Australian meat processing giant T&R Pastoral and Holco Meat have joined forces to create the largest Australian-owned meat processing and packing company.
Darren Thomas of T&R (right) and Mike Rankin of Holco (left) Picture: Jo-anna Robinson
T&R Pastoral chief executive Darren Thomas announced yesterday that the Murray Bridge-based meat processor had bought a 50 per cent share in Holco, renewing a long-term relationship between the two companies.
The Murray Bridge-based T&R has a turnover of more than $1.3 billion and is the nation's largest lamb and mutton exporter and a major beef exporter with 80 per cent of its business to more than 80 export markets.
Mr Thomas said the benefits from T&R's perspective will include the ability to supply the general Australian retail market and food service sector with red meat, chicken, pork and seafood.
"The benefits will flow back to the farming community and we will be able to focus on more branded products underpinned by the Meat Standards Australia guarantee of quality," Mr Thomas said.
"It will give us an opportunity to promote some of our great brands on the domestic market that were previously only seen on the international market."
T&R operates four abattoirs in Murray Bridge, Lobethal, Tamworth in New South Wales and Wallangarra in Queensland processing 120,000 sheep and lambs and 5000 cattle a week.
Mr Thomas said Holco will become the largest Australian-owned food service provider with access to a processor.
T&R employs 2500 people, while Holco's 300 employees process and deliver fresh beef, chicken, lamb and pork to restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, commercial caterers, mining sites and healthcare organisations across Australia.
Mr Thomas said Holco, which has a $130 million turnover, will also assume responsibility for the management and operation of T&R's Country Fresh Nationwide business located in Coffs Harbor, adding to Holco's existing operations in Adelaide, Brisbane and Darwin.
Holco owner and managing director Mike Rankin said it will remain uniquely South Australian, but the deal will provide it with greater access to a wider market, while giving T&R a platform concentrated on the Australian market.
Mr Rankin will continue as managing director of Holco with Mr Thomas joining a new executive board to help guide its growth and future strategy.
"By consolidating Country Fresh Nationwide and Holco, the combined business will do upwards of $200 million," Mr Rankin said.
"It will be run out of our head office and is a very exciting move for us with the philosophies of the two groups almost identical."
Mr Rankin said Holco will have to increase employment in its administration group and sales departments in Adelaide.
"We're quite a successful business and this is just going to improve our ongoing viability," he said. "It will give us access to bigger markets and to a wider geographical outcome."
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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