Thomas Foods International unveils plans for new world class processing facility at Murray Bridge
06 June, 2019
Thomas Foods International has today unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art meat processing facility at Murray Bridge.
The family-owned company’s Chief Executive Officer Darren Thomas has confirmed the new facility will be built on a greenfield site, 10km outside of the town centre.
With an estimated value of several hundred million dollars, it replaces the plant destroyed by fire on January 3 last year.
“Today we re-affirm the commitment we made on Day One,” Mr Thomas said.
“We plan to build the best, most advanced multi species processing facility in Australia, if not the world. And we will build it at Murray Bridge in South Australia.
“We want our facility to be world class in adapting the latest advancements in technology, efficiency, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and workplace safety.
“This is the single largest investment by our company in its 30-year history and on a scale not seen in our industry for many years. It’s also our long-term commitment to our community, staff, customers and livestock suppliers throughout South Australia and Australia.”
Once fully operational, the new plant is expected to create around 2000 jobs, an estimated 400 of which will be required in the initial stages of production.
Thomas Foods International has established a dedicated project team led by Darren Thomas and Chief Operating Officer David McKay and including internal and external designers, engineers and planners to drive the development. “Today is a very exciting milestone for Thomas Foods International and our local community of Murray Bridge,” Mr McKay said.
“We’ve secured the land for our site and have worked closely with a team of internationallyrenowned process engineers to come up with a world-class environmentally sustainable design.
“From the fire has come a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to build a brand new flagship facility that will service our global operations for many decades to come. This will be a technically advanced facility to deliver the highest standards in beef and lamb processing.”
The plant and its capacity will be built in a staged approach with the beef processing facilities to be completed first. The final stages of the development will provide for a considerable expansion and greater footprint to that of the previous site in Murray Bridge.
The site for the new plant is located 8km from the existing plant site along the Mannum Rd and is close to the company’s existing wastewater treatment ponds.
While an exact date for construction to commence has yet to be determined, the company is positioned for this to begin as soon as possible. It is working closely with the relevant State Government agencies and expects initial production at the site could commence as early as November 2020.
Mr Thomas said he was enormously proud of the Thomas Foods International staff who have worked tirelessly since the fire to make today’s announcement possible.
“From Day One, we committed to rebuilding our Murray Bridge operations,” he said.
“The fire was a major disruption to the business and the lives of many of our people, not just in Murray Bridge but right across our operations. But we’re a positive and resilient family company.
“Rather than lament what was lost, we’ve chosen to focus on emerging bigger, better and stronger. We’ve chosen to focus on the exciting future for our company and the community of Murray Bridge.
“The enormous dedication and outstanding work by everyone involved in this process is overwhelming. I’m extremely grateful to all our staff who have put in so much hard work, our loyal customers and suppliers who’ve stuck with us, our insurers and the external support we’ve received across the community.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the valuable support we’ve received from all levels of Government, State Government agencies and the personal interest taken by so many political leaders. This has been a truly collaborative approach to bring about an outcome with such broad community benefits.”
About Thomas Foods International.
Thomas Foods International (TFI) is Australia’s largest 100% family-owned meat processor.
Processing high quality Australian sheep, lamb, goats and beef, the TFI group of companies supplies more than 85 countries across the globe with operations in Australia and overseas including in the United States, China, Japan and Europe.
Since the January 3, 2018 fire at Murray Bridge, Thomas Foods International has created hundreds of jobs and invested millions of dollars at its facilities at Lobethal and Tamworth. It has also grown its international operations including opening an office in Japan and entering into an equity partnership with Luiten Food in the Netherlands.
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