A taste of things to come

PNG food com­pany ramp­ing up op­er­a­tions

Paradise - - Contents -

The 100-year-old Aus­tralasian com­pany Good­man Fielder was ac­quired last year by the Sin­ga­pore-based ed­i­ble oils com­pany Wil­mar In­ter­na­tional, and Hong-Kong based in­vest­ment com­pany First Pa­cific, for PGK3.02 bil­lion. It sig­nalled a shift to in­te­grate the com­pany more into the Asian re­gion.

Jean-Michel Leje­une, gen­eral man­ager at Good­man Fielder PNG, who was for­merly gen­eral man­ager of Nes­tle PNG, has been in the new role for nine months.

He says that the new own­ers of the com­pany are tak­ing a long-term view of the busi­ness.

The new own­ers ap­pear to have the size to adopt the long view. Wil­mar claims to be the largest agribusi­ness group in Asia, with in­ter­ests in ed­i­ble oils, su­gar milling and re­fin­ing, grain pro­cess­ing and con­sumer foods. First Pa­cific owns 50 per cent of In­done­sia’s largest food com­pany, Ind­o­food.

In a counter-cycli­cal strat­egy, Wil­mar has com­mit­ted to a ma­jor in­vest­ment in PNG, de­spite the cur­rent eco­nomic chal­lenges. The com­pany says once plans have been fi­nalised, con­struc­tion will be­gin on a large, mod­ern Buh­ler-de­signed flour­mill in Lae.

The multi-mil­lion kina project will in­crease ca­pac­ity, en­abling the com­pany to pro­duce enough high-qual­ity flour per day to keep up with de­mand from PNG’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion. A more mod­ern stock feed mill is also planned.

Good­man Fielder first es­tab­lished op­er­a­tions in PNG in 1975 through As­so­ci­ated Mills Lim­ited, pro­duc­ing flour and stock feed. It cur­rently has a flour­mill in Lae and a sec­ond mill in Port Moresby, along with a bak­ery. The com­pany presently pro­duces Flame Flour, Twisties and Pops Snacks, Flame Stock Feed, Bi­las Bread and Cakes and Arthurs Pies in PNG.

Good­man Fielder PNG also sells other prod­ucts such as Meadow Lea, Praise, Corn­wells, White Wings and Meadow Fresh long-life milk, which are pro­duced in Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

Leje­une says that some new prod­ucts are be­ing in­tro­duced this year, most of which will be pro­duced in PNG.

“The takeover has en­er­gised Good­man Fielder PNG and our chal­lenge now is to main­tain that mo­men­tum,” says Leje­une. “The com­pany re­ally be­lieves in PNG and is cur­rently in­creas­ing its management ca­pac­ity by re­cruit­ing the top ex­perts in a range of fields.”

The new own­ers’ in­ten­tion (is) to take Good­man Fielder from the pre­mier Aus­tralasian food com­pany to a lead­ing Asian and Pa­cific Is­lands food com­pany.

Jean- Michel Leje­une … the Good­man Fielder gen­eral man­ager says new PNG-made prod­ucts will be in­tro­duced to the com­pany’s range and a large flour­mill will be built in Lae.

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