Thursday, May 30, 2024

Primo celebrates 30 years

Primo, a much-loved Australian smallgoods brand, is celebrating its 30th year of operation in 2015. Millions of people have enjoyed Primo’s wide variety of authentic deli meats prepared from traditional family recipes, cementing the Primo brand as a trusted household name. Today, Primo products can be found in nearly half the households of Australia.

The history of Primo comes from humble beginnings, when Andrew Lederer, a Hungarian immigrant to Australia, established Primo Smallgoods in 1985 with 38 employees. The business grew at a rapid pace over the next 30 years through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions to become the leading producer of high-quality ham, bacon and continental products in the country, employing around 4,000 staff.

In 2015, as Primo celebrates its 30th birthday, the Primo group became a part of the world’s largest meat company, JBS.

Catering for both the domestic and export markets, Primo holds a unique position in the industry by owning and operating abattoirs, two state-of-the-art manufacturing plants, packing facilities and distribution warehouses. By controlling these critical stages of the production and distribution process, Primo maintains the highest level of quality control in the industry. Customers know that when buying from Primo, they will only receive products of the highest quality.

Product quality is a cornerstone of the business. Every year products are entered into both the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and Sydney Royal Fine Food Show for judging. For three years in a row, Primo has been awarded the most medals, which is a reflection of the company’s commitment to not only deliver the finest quality, but also capture flavours of a true continental heritage.

Research and development is critically important in exciting consumers and growing the size of the smallgoods market. Primo is making significant investment in this area to ensure it remains a leader in product innovation and will continue to benchmark against best practice globally, with a proactive and focused approach.

Primo understands the value of strong brands and is committed to supporting the Primo, Hans and Oliving by Hans brands over the next year. This will see strong investment in these brands with the consumer at the centre of everything – from delicious products to suit all Australian tastes and occasions, to products that are better for you in more convenient packaging formats that take into consideration current life pressures and challenges. Primo will continue to inspire and help consumers share and experience new things.

Name and position 
Jim Cleary
Chief Operating Officer
Primo Smallgoods, part of JBS

Company profile

Primo is the leading producer of bacon, ham and smallgoods in Australia and in New Zealand through its subsidiar y, Premier Beehive. It sells its leading brands Primo and Hans in all of major retailers and through foodservice, as well as exporting to a number of countries in the region. It has two modern processing plants, in Chullora, NSW , and Wacol, Queensland. Primo is also a major producer of pork from its abattoir at Port Wakefield, South Australia.

What was your first job?

I was an articled clerk in an accountancy firm in Limerick, Ireland, when I was studying to be a chartered accountant.

What is your proudest career achievement? 

Being part of the team that led the formation of JBS’ Brazilian-based poultry, pork and further processed food business known as JBS Foods SA.

What is your biggest regret in business?

I have no real regrets, except maybe not knowing in the past what I know now.

What rules do you live by?

Honesty and transparency in all relationships. Treat others as you would want to be treated, and there is always a better way to do things.

What has made the biggest impact on the grocer y industry in the past five years?

The rise of discounters has been a game changer for the established grocery players, both here in Australia and on a global basis.

What are your predictions for the grocer y industry in 2016?

A highly competitive environment with an increased focus on quality fresh food will be the key to attracting and retaining customers.

Where do you see the grocer y industry in the next three years?

Continued investment in fresh food capability and innovation will reinforce fresh food as a key traffic driver. Healthy eating trends will be an important catalyst for growth.

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