IF you have been wondering what has been going on at the old Dairy Farmers building in Bomaderry the answer is a lot.
The factory is now home to Argyle Prestige Meats complete with a multi-million dollar redevelopment and more than 60 workers on the books.
The company, co-owned by Lachie and Andrina Graham, has experienced such rapid growth it needed to find bigger premises.
With the help of Lachie’s brother, who is also a partner in the business, it is also planning to export its premium product into Asia.
The old milk factory has been transformed into a state-of-the-art meat-processing facility.
Mr Graham inspected boning facilities overseas and imported the fully-automated Marel system from Iceland, which boasts data capture, yield management and traceability features.
“In 90 or 100 days we might get a call from a customer. If there is an issue, we can scan the barcode and find out the details,” he said.
Those details include who boned the carcass, where it was bred, and how old it was.
The factory has the potential to process 35 beef carcasses an hour in an eight-hour shift, and a few hundred lambs a day, with a view to increasing to a double shift if required.
The company has employed meat processors, packers, storemen, forklift operators, saw operators and butchers, many of whom are from the local area.
A software system was also built into the plant, allowing retailers to log in with their requirements remotely, streamlining the process and enabling Argyle to cut and pack to order.
The Argyle brand is supplied by the Graham farm at Harden, the Manildra farm at Nowra as well as extended family — brothers’ farms, cousins’ farms and a few suppliers whose herds are based on Argyle genetics.
Argyle meat is on the shelves of more than 200 supermarkets and this Friday the company will launch its Eight Mile by Argyle brand on Coles’ shelves.
It will initially be available in metropolitan Sydney and an area encompassing Goulburn, the South Coast and the ACT.
“It’s a big investment in the area. Our aim is to be the best we can be and create and seize opportunities,” he said.