What started as a husband and wife market shop in Kangaroo Flat is now on the verge of becoming a global food manufacture.
Moira Mac's Poultry and Fine Foods was named today as one of 10 small-to-medium sized businesses across the country to participate in ANZ’s business growth program.
Which could mean nearly 100 more jobs for Bendigo over the next few years. Managing director Dean Russell said the nine-month, intensive program would help his company take the next step in its journey to a global business player – tapping into the lucrative Asian market.
“This is very timely for us as we are on the verge of looking at export – we’ve targeted the start of next year – so it’s even more important we are global best practice in everything we do,” Mr Russell said.
It is all a very long way from Moira Mac’s humble beginnings in Kangaroo Flat.
“Moira and I started the business as a retail outlet in 1983 with two staff members small market shop,” Mr Russell said.
“As we started to develop we moved bus as into manufacturing and wholesale to the big retailers like Coles, Woolworths and Aldi. Now we have a factory with 6000 square metres of manufacturing space and around 95 employees.”
And that number of employees could double if Moira Mac’s achieves its five year goal.
It was innovation which drove the deli and cold meat company’s expansion – Moira Mac’s was the first poultry manufacturer in Australia to pressure pasteurise its meat, meaning the product was preservative free.
Which Mr Russell believes will help the company tap into “massive market place on our doorstep”.
“The Asian market is huge – data suggests 400 million citizens of China will be moving into the middle class, giving them the purchasing power to eat higher value foods,” he said. “And there is a particular interest in nutritious, clean, green Australian foods.”
The businessman said there were a few notable players from Bendigo’s business community but that the Asian market was still largely waiting to be tapped.
“It all comes down to the willingess of the business,” he said. “Hopefully, more and more will be willing to go global.”