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WA firm still serving it up

PERTH company Kailis & France Foods hopes its new $15 million factory at Osborne Park will help it become the largest Australian exporter of frozen convenience foods to the south and north Asian regions by 2004.

The 4,000 square metre factory will produce one in four prepared meals in Australian supermarkets for leading brands and retailers.

It will produce a range of more than 300 frozen prepared meals, meal components, soups and sauces, using more than 1,500 ingredients in more than 120 different forms of packaging.

Chief executive David Clapin said the company was in a position to better service its growing export markets.

“The opening of the new factory is the realisation of a dream to take fresh produce from the paddocks of Western Australia to the plates of the world,” Mr Clapin said.

“We have positioned ourselves to become the foremost processor of frozen convenience foods in Australia and we aim to be the largest Australian exporter of these products to the south and north Asia by 2004.

“By combining our natural competitive advantage of world’s best quality WA farm produce with world-class levels of food safety and production standards, we are tackling some of the world’s major markets with increasing success.”

Kailis & France also hopes to develop new channels of supply of prepared ingredients to major food manufacturers in Asia and Europe.

It has set a target of increasing yearly sales from $50 million to $70 million during the next few years. It has a turnover of $135 million per year.

The new factory, opened last month by Prime Minister John Howard, employs more than 300 people. It has been designed to deliver four times the capacity of the old factory because growth has outstripped the company’s production capability.

While the company has traditionally been associated with seafood in WA, more than half its production was in other foods.

It exports to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mauritius, Brunei and New Zealand.

Leading national customers include Coles, Woolworths, Franklins, Jenny Craig, Heinz, Nestle, Goodman Fielder, Pizza Hut and Sizzler.

The firm was established more than 70 years ago by George Kailis and has been developed with the help of his sons and grandsons.

It has interests in retailing, wholesaling, fishing, processing and exporting.

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