Prima Smallgoods: big aspirations

Lae-based food manufacturer Prima Smallgoods has recently completed a K40 million (US$15.82 million) upgrade to its manufacturing operations. It’s all about the longer term, General Manager Adrian Chow tells Business Advantage PNG.

Prima Smallgoods' new manufacturing facility in Lae

Prima Smallgoods’ upgraded manufacturing facility in Lae

Prima Smallgoods’ 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 non-staple 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.

‘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’

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 lower-priced saveloys and sausages to the mass-market.

Better, safer

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill opening Prima Smallgoods' new Lae factory in September 2013

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill opening Prima Smallgoods’ new Lae factory in September 2013

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.

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‘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.’

Local quality

The resulting improvements will enable Prima to provide a high-quality 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.

Export-ready

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 offer a natural fit for Prima’s products.

Comments

  1. Andrew paraskeva says:

    I am proud that prima has held on threw the hard times of receivership in the 90s period . It was hard but great job to the directors of placeing a full trust to the work force of the factory and it’s quality process plant . I was 27 years old at the time until my 30 the it was a wild exciting chalanging project for me and I know I have left a mark the been a Greek back round born in Sydney . It would be a great pleasure to re visit the factory again

  2. Andrew paraskeva says:

    I can not beleive the look of the factory from the outside . Wow nice it is again andrew Paraskeva the production manager between the years 1992 / 1995 great job to the directors . And also the inside the factory float plan .

  3. Well been the production manager between 1992 until 1995 . I am proud to where prima smallgoods has come to wow great my name is andrew Paraskeva I was the when prima was in receivership . It was hard then . It would be great to visit again the factory . To the directors you have done a great job keep it up . Does pelgens small goods still operate ? My number is +357 99576417 I hope to get some feed back . At the time that I was the we would support the local market more then to import from Australia especially the beef . So we started the method of ageing beef. For quality reasons and support the local beef market yes it had worked but I was not the long enough to see the sale mar gens .

  4. Evah Loloh BANIGE says:

    Lae’s Prima Smallgoods has been one of Transparency International’s leading gold sponsors in the annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption in Lae since it’s inception, in the province in 2013. The organizing Committee in Lae extends it’s gratitude to Mr.Chow and his team for Prima’s continued assistance and donation of sausages to the walk.

    The LAE SASWAC TIPNG Organizing Committee

  5. Bettina Sione says:

    This is great inspiring news on Prima Smallgoods. I am planning to establish my wholesale in freezer goods & I was wonderi g how can I become an agent to sell Prima smallgoods ?

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