Gilbert’s Foods opens new Australian office

Heysham-based Gilbert’s Foods, a leading supplier of quality meat and poultry dishes to the wholesale, foodservice and retail sectors, has opened a new division in Brisbane, Australia, hit its end of year year sales figures for 2012 and announced further growth and recruitment plans for 2013 and beyond.

[caption id="attachment_21717" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="200"]Peter Smith, Gilbert's Foods Peter Smith, Gilbert's Foods[/caption]

Operating as Gilbert’s Foods Australia, the new facility is responsible for the handling, sourcing, importing and exporting of quality meat products. The office will be managed by Andrew Smith, brother of Peter Smith, managing director of the UK operation on Middleton Business Park.

The announcement comes following audits, inspections and supplier reviews to ensure all products meet the British and Australian standards, allowing meat finished cooked products to be sold into major foodservice, retail and manufacturing operations in Australia. Currently, 20 products will be available to the Australian marketplace.

The UK market now also has the opportunity to purchase quality raw meat cuts direct from Gilbert’s Foods Australia through the head office in Lancashire.

In the UK, the company achieved its best year ever in 2012, smashing a sales target of £10m, up from £6m in 2011. Further growth is planned for 2013, with a focus on developing the British market and expansion into Europe. In addition, the company has increased its storage facility by investing in a 5,000 sq ft site in Lancashire, allowing for an additional 300 pallets to be stored to facilitate larger orders.

Looking forward into 2013 and beyond the company is planning for more UK and international trade and has several acquisitions in the pipeline. It is also strengthening its offering by recruiting several graduates onto the sales and customers service team.

Peter Smith, managing director at Gilbert’s Foods, said: “This is a very exciting time for Gilbert’s Foods as we have officially launched the Australian division, achieved our ambitious sales target of £10m and our growth plans for the next 12 months look very positive. The Australian office will allow us to break into the retail, foodservice and wholesale markets over there and we have already secured some lucrative contracts. “We are in a period of strong growth and all these developments put us in a good position to take the business forwards to become a major player in the UK and international food industry.”