23/04/2008 - 22:00

International meat market beckons

23/04/2008 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Increasing production and staff costs have been significant players in the current rising food prices, and local producers such as meat processor V&V Walsh have had to develop new strategies to keep their business afloat.

Increasing production and staff costs have been significant players in the current rising food prices, and local producers such as meat processor V&V Walsh have had to develop new strategies to keep their business afloat.

The 51-year-old company is one of few meat processors in Western Australia, and developed a flagship brand, Amelia Park Lamb, three years ago.

The family-owned business predominantly depends on the local market but also has a strong export market in Japan, China, Philippines, Indonesia and the Middle East.

“We consider ourselves a local processor while using export to complement what we do,” V&V Walsh export manager Paul Crane told WA Business News.

Meanwhile, expanding the business has been a struggle for V&V Walsh in recent years due to a critical staff shortage.

“Staff is a major problem… we are waiting for an agreement to be signed in Canberra,” Mr Crane said.

The agreement, which is an equivalent of the 457 visa, would provide an easier way for meat processing plants to employ workers from overseas.

Mr Crane says that the plant could employ another 70 staff on top of the existing 450.

A project to export carcasses for processing in the Philippines for the Philippines market is another solution that V&V Walsh is looking at to respond to staff shortage issues.

“There is no such thing as sitting still. If you don’t go forward you have to work not to go backwards,” Mr Crane said.

According to Mr Crane, V&V Walsh has had success with its branding approach focusing on its premium product, Amelia Park Lamb, for the local WA market.

“Three years ago we had a strategy to have our lamb recognised as good lamb…and the brand recognition worked. We have a good following, several restaurants on the east coast use it,” he said.

 “You have to make sure that the quality is there. If it’s good quality, people will stick with it.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options