19 April 2023

Minerva Foods Australia invests A$400 million in Australian meat operation

Minerva Foods Australia invests A$400 million in Australian Lamb Company.

The deal includes 2 sites: a lamb processing facility in regional Victoria and a boning room and sales and marketing hub in Melbourne.

‘The highly skilled workforce at ALC produces an incredible product which is well respected around the world,’ says Iain Mars, CEO of Minerva Foods Australia. ‘We are looking forward to building on this reputation.’

The acquisition of ALC is Minerva’s second investment in Australia. In 2021, the company and its joint venture partner invested US$35 million (A$48 million) in 2 meat processing facilities in regional Western Australia.

Export opportunities arising from investment

Minerva Foods Australia is owned by Brazil’s Minerva Foods and the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC). Minerva Foods is one of South America’s largest beef producers. SALIC is wholly owned by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

The acquisition is expected to expand ALC’s international reach and provide opportunities in new and emerging markets.

Industry market analyst Matt Dalgleish told ABC News that the sale would open export opportunities, particularly in India where Australia has a free trade agreement.

‘With SALIC involved with this joint venture, that could look to increase volumes of sheep meat back into Saudi Arabia,’ he adds.

Further access into India and Saudi Arabia could also benefit Australia's exports of halal-certified products.

Three pieces of uncooked lamb meat on a kitchen bench with other ingredients

Why invest in the Australian meat industry?

Over the years, Minerva Foods has looked at Australia’s meat industry as a prime location for investment.

‘The Australian meat industry has an enviable worldwide reputation in producing good-quality beef and lamb, backed by world-class systems and controls in all aspects of its production,’ says Mars.

In an investor briefing, the company said: ‘Australia is by far the most efficient place to produce sheepmeat in the world, in terms of scale and capacity to allow exports. The country’s meat products are perceived as of higher quality, which is reflected through higher prices.’

How Austrade helped

Austrade has provided bespoke support to Minerva Foods on a regular basis since 2018, including:

  • working with the Department of Home Affairs on visas for their management and skilled staff
  • providing regular market briefings and advice on regional labour challenges
  • introducing Minerva representatives to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and other government departments.

‘We have received great ongoing support from Austrade,’ says Mars. ‘It gives us confidence in our investments and our planned future investments in Australia.’

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