Prima Smallgoods: big aspirations
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.