Prima Small­go­ods: big as­pi­ra­tions

Made in PNG - - FEATURE -

Lae-based food man­u­fac­turer Prima Small­go­ods has re­cently com­pleted a 40 mil­lion kina (US$15.82 mil­lion) up­grade to its man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions.

The com­pany’s Gen­eral Man­ager, Adrian Chow, says the in­vest­ment was made to take ad­van­tage of Pa­pua New Guinea’s ex­pected long-term eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, with the man­u­fac­turer an­tic­i­pat­ing a surge in do­mes­tic de­mand for non­sta­ple and value-added food op­tions.

‘As dis­pos­able in­come in­creases, we ex­pect peo­ple to have a greater de­mand for pro­cessed meat prod­ucts,’ he says.

That’s not to say that things aren’t al­ready go­ing strong for the fast-grow­ing com­pany, which has a 40-year his­tory in Pa­pua New Guinea.

Its cur­rent cus­tomer base in­cludes the cater­ing providers for Pa­pua New Guinea’s ma­jor re­sources projects, as well as a range of whole­salers and su­per­mar­kets, which sup­ply Prima’s low­er­priced saveloys and sausages to the mass mar­ket.

The newly-up­graded man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, opened by Prime Min­is­ter Peter O’Neill in Septem­ber 2013, in­cludes new pro­cess­ing equip­ment that can de­liver con­sis­tently high-qual­ity prod­ucts and al­lows for com­pre­hen­sive data col­lec­tion. Chow says the new plant also cre­ates a much safer and pleas­ant work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for the com­pany’s 230 staff.

‘Our ob­jec­tive was to build a mod­ern man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity of a scale and stan­dard not seen in Pa­pua New Guinea be­fore,’ he says. ‘The de­sign and equip­ment al­low our staff to per­form their tasks more ef­fi­ciently and safely.’

The re­sult­ing im­prove­ments will en­able Prima to pro­vide a high­qual­ity lo­cal al­ter­na­tive to im­ported small­go­ods. ‘We be­lieve that our new fa­cil­ity’s stan­dards are bet­ter than some of the pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Aus­tralia. So, our cus­tomers can no longer use qual­ity as an ex­cuse to buy from over­seas sup­pli­ers,’ Chow says.

The ben­e­fits of such a ma­jor pri­vate in­vest­ment are also ex­pected to flow through to the lo­cal pig­geries and farms that form part of Prima’s sup­ply chain.

Prima’s in­vest­ment may also en­able a move into ex­ports.

‘At the mo­ment, we’re not ex­port­ing be­cause we are try­ing to con­cen­trate on the Pa­pua New Guinea mar­ket, but there is a pos­si­bil­ity in the fu­ture with this new plant,’ Chow says, not­ing that the Solomon Is­lands of­fers a nat­u­ral fit for Prima’s prod­ucts.

Prima Small­good’s up­graded plant in Lae.

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