The benefits for local producers are just as good as that for job seekers.
This is the message emphasised by JBS Australia in the wake of the announcement of their acquisition of Primo Smallgoods last week.
JBS Australia’s chief executive officer Brent Eastwood told The Scone Advocate in an exclusive interview that the company is extremely focused on keeping an open line of communication with the local public in Scone and the Upper Hunter and will continue to keep the people updated on any future changes and developments.
Mr Eastwood said the process is very open and there are no games at play.
Due to regulatory procedures and compliance requirements JBS will not officially takeover Primo until late January or early February next year, so it is business as usual at the Scone abattoir – Hunter Valley Quality Meats.
The $1.45 billion purchase is part of JBS’ larger global strategy and will allow the company to move closer to the consumer and ready-made foods in Australia.
Mr Eastwood said the two main benefits are the intention of JBS to continue hiring local employees with a standard to only hire in other labour when the needs cannot be met locally.
He said although the further 100 jobs announced by Hunter Valley Quality Meats were a decision of the current owners, they are consistent with the JBS strategy and the company aims to continue to invest and grow in the region into the future.
For the farmers, one advantage is predicted to be better returns through JBS’ various premium programs already operating in other parts of the country.
Mr Eastwood said JBS representatives already attend the majority of saleyards around the east coast and they are always competitively chasing livestock.
He said they hope to open up more opportunities for Scone producers, as being a global business, the opportunity to sell a premium product for a premium price will be enhanced.
“All the farmers have to do is produce a good product and we will pay for it,” he said.
“We aim to invest in jobs, invest in capital and invest in the long term future of the community.”