Fast Money
History

From a sole trader family business in the mid-1860s, HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd has grown in to a multi-million dollar meat export business with buying and export centres in Tongala (north-eastern Victoria) and Greenham Tasmania Pty Ltd at Smithton in Tasmania’s pristine north-west.

Generations of Beef

The Greenham name has been associated with red meat processing and wholesale in Victoria since the 1860’s. Evolving to HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd in 1923, the company operated from the Melbourne City Abattoirs and by the 1960’s was a pioneer of beef exports to the USA, processing up to 600 cattle per day.

The Advent of Hot Boning

By the 1990’s, the shift of dairying from south east Queensland and coastal NSW to Victoria increased the number of cull cows and supported the development of a processing niche for hot boning dairy cows for the US manufacturing trade.

Greenham was the first Australian company to set up a hot boning plant following overseas investigations into methods of achieving cost reduction and competitiveness. The plant was built in Tongala - a premium dairying area in Victoria - and started operations in January 1993, working two shifts per day to produce lean grinding meat mainly for the United States market. The plant has since expanded to incorporate a modern facility for processing bulls of any size, providing multiple options for farmers and graziers across Australia.

The Tasmania Story

Greenham Tasmania Pty Ltd was established in 2002 as an associated company of HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd. The parent company purchased the failed Blue Ribbon Meat Works in Smithton, north western Tasmania and refurbished the plant to international export standards.

Today the company is the biggest employer in the area with more than 220 staff and supplying high quality beef products to domestic and exports markets for butchers, food service and retail. Under the guidance of Peter Greenham Junior, Greenham Tasmania processes more than 2,500 head every week and sells its prime boxed beef under the Cape Grim Beef (Tasmanian Cattle only), Pure Black Angus, Bass Strait Beef and Greenham brands. All premium brands are underpinned by third-party audited natural beef programs that are focused on both supplying fully traceable beef to end-users and also delivering premiums to suppliers that meet program specifications. Greenham Tasmania also processes and co-markets the Robbins Island Wagyu brand in association with the Hammond family.

Gippsland: A New Beginning

In October 2017, Greenham Gippsland P/L was incorporated with the purchase of the former Moe Meatworks site. Closed since 2015, the meatworks now processes an ever-increasing number of cattle and will employ more than 100 staff as it reaches full production.

Peter Greenham Jnr, Managing Director, said the company is pleased to have purchased the facility. “Moe complements our existing operations and we are looking forward to getting started. It’s in an excellent region for producing quality cattle and the plant is set up to process them.”

The company has a strong focus on supporting beef and dairy producers in Gippsland with a reliable local operator to process their stock. The plant processes a combination of cows, bulls and premium cattle sourced from the best regions in Southern Australia.

Greenham Gippsland offers the standard 36 hour payment terms to all ‘over-the-hooks’ purchases to assist with cash flow to farm businesses. There are also four Live Weight Buying Centres – local weekly scales where producers receive payment on the spot for their cattle – across the Gippsland region.

 

Key Events

Greenham family

 

Year    Event
1933    Family business incorporated after operating as sole traders based in Victoria since the 1860s
1953   Operating from Melbourne City Abattoirs, supplying mainly domestic market and some frozen lambs to the United Kingdom
1963   Expanded into boning of meat for both the domestic canning market and mutton for the recently-opened U.S.A. market
1969       Formed association with Frozen Foods Industries Limited and used their facilities for boning of meat for export. Built boning production up to a level of processing 600 cattle per day
1979   Purchased Newport abattoir originally owned by Swift & Co and then R J Gilbertson Pty Ltd, with a slaughtering capacity of 550 cattle and 7,500 sheep and lambs per day
1984   Formed one operating company, Gilbertson Greenham Pty Ltd, with R J Gilbertson Pty Ltd after foreseeing a downturn in the availability of cattle, sheep and lambs
1988   Turnover for Gilbertson Greenham Pty Ltd topped $200 million, exports topped $100 million, and number of employees reached more than 1000
1989   H.W Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd sold its holdings after changes in the structure of R J Gilbertson Pty Ltd
1993   H.W Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd commenced operating a new hot boning plant at Tongala, northern Victoria
2000   Instigated the Greenham Dairy Scholarship
2001   Exporting 24,300 tonnes per annum to the United States, processing more than 164,000 cattle supplied by beef and dairy producers in southern Australia
2002   Opened Greenham Tasmania at Smithton, processing for overseas markets
2003   Instigated Greenham Tasmania Dairy and Beef Industry Scholarship
2007   The Cape Grim Beef brand launched across Australia
2007   Partnership with Japanese company for the Aleph Natural Beef Program
2012   Cape Grim Beef appears on Masterchef – Tasmanian special
2013   Introduction of the Greenham Never Ever Natural Beef program
2014   Foundation Partnership with Agritas Trade College in Smithton
2017   Purchase of the Former HY Moe Meatworks in Gippsland
2018   Extensive renovations to Gippsland plant and processing of Never Ever cattle