New food manufacturing jobs for Melbourne’s north

Australian smallgoods manufacturer D’Orsogna is creating more than 100 new jobs, including those suitable for former auto workers, through its $61 million expansion in Mickleham.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll turned the first sod at the site of the company’s new factory in the Merrifield Business Park, which will create more than 50 additional jobs during construction.

The expansion, made possible through the State Government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition, will include a new purpose-built facility that includes cooking, smoking, cooling, storing, slicing and packaging equipment.

The new facility will make use of the latest developments in processing and packaging technology, which will advance the company’s growth strategy in both domestic and export markets.

D’Orsogna is a family owned manufacturer of ham, bacon and other smallgoods, established in 1949. The company supplies Woolworths, Coles, Metcash and various food service businesses across Australia.

The food and fibre sector is Victoria’s biggest goods export sector, exporting nearly $12 billion annually. The sector contributes approximately five per cent of Victoria’s GSP and employs over 193,000 people.

The transition grants help businesses generate new investment and create jobs for retrenched workers in areas affected by the closure of car manufacturing.

The initiative has supported 38 projects so far, which are expected to create close to 1,000 jobs – more than 800 of which are suitable for former automotive workers.

“The D’Orsogna expansion is creating jobs, boosting the food and fibre sector and further cements Victoria as the home of manufacturing in Australia,” said Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll.

“This massive expansion will boost the local economy and create much needed jobs in Melbourne’s North.”



Hellers imports pre-cooked sausages to Australia

After two years of extensive market and consumer research Hellers, NZ’s butcher, has established a strong presence in the Australian market with its retail-ready pre-cooked sausages.

Sold initially into the Costco chain at a rate of one container a week, Hellers’ ‘Chunky Cheese’ sausages, made of lightly seasoned beef with chunks of real NZ cheese, are fast becoming a staple of the Aussie BBQ.

“We’re dipping our toe in the water,” Hellers chief executive John McWhirter said. Like the kiwi sausage, Hellers is humble about its product offering but always stands by its quality and taste. “It’s really what differentiates us wherever we are and we believe we can compete with the world’s best,” said McWhirter.

“It’s a small start but McWhirter says the move across the ditch could easily increase Hellers’ overall sales by 10%.  “It’s a big step and we wanted to ensure we got it right, an important part of that is understanding the market.”

McWhirter said feedback from focus groups and product tastings in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne was invaluable. “There were also very few kiwis in those groups so the results removed any doubt about Australians’ appetite for Kiwi fare.

“What it also reinforced was that Australian consumers have a high level of trust in New Zealand products.”

That trust is well founded. This week Hellers won the pre-cooked category of the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage category with its Classic Saveloys.

It’s the latest in a string of industry awards for Hellers over the past decade.  Now Australia is seeing the company’s acumen.

“It’s a willing market and it’s a big market, particularly when you consider for example that Sydney alone has a bigger population than New Zealand.”

The initial sausage sales are part of Hellers strategy to increase its footprint throughout Australasia under its well-known “NZ’s butcher” tagline.

“It’s a logical commercial step but we’ll do it without losing our core values and family roots,” McWhirter said.

ACCC fines bacon maker for telling porkies

South Australian bacon maker Conroys Pty Ltd has been fined $10,200 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for making a false or misleading representation about the place of origin of its 1kg Breakfast Bacon product.

In February 2015, Conroys supplied the Bacon Product labelled as a ‘Product of Australia’ when in fact it was produced using imported pig meat. The Bacon Product was supplied in a one-off shipment of 1020kg to a wholesaler in WA.

“Many consumers have a preference for products that contain locally sourced ingredients and are often prepared to pay a premium for these products,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“As it is often difficult for consumers to determine where products come from, it is crucial that businesses provide accurate information about the place of origin of the goods that they supply.”

“False claims of this kind not only mislead consumers but can also disadvantage competing suppliers, particularly those who source local ingredients for their products,” Mr Sims said.