NAMED as one of Petfood Industry magazine’s ‘Top 10 global petfood leaders’, VIP Petfoods has been a manufacturing powerhouse on the Gold Coast for almost two decades.
The company’s Yatala factory totals 7000sqm and handles most of VIP’s dry food manufacturing, packaging and export operations. Three additional factories located throughout Australia have been assigned specialist tasks including production and packaging of wet and dry food and processing fresh produce.
VIP continues to export around 40 per cent of its products to key Asian marketing including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, but the high Australian dollar has CEO Tony Quinn (pictured) concerned about future negotiations.
“Our supply contracts with a number of key Japanese customers are up for renewal later this year and to be honest I don’t know how we will be able to compete,” he says.
“In the past, the only suppliers able to compete with us for Japanese contracts were typically Chinese manufacturers selling far inferior products. Our products are still among the best on the market, but now it’s just as cheap and in many cases cheaper to source quality pet food from Europe or the USA.”
Admitting many other companies are more affected by the high Aussie dollar, the charismatic race car driving Scot says he ‘shouldn’t complain’. The domestic market is growing strongly for VIP and more contracts for its often overlooked packaging services are on the horizon. The company’s vacuum packaging, storage and refrigeration solutions are utilised by other produce companies.
“Many people forget or don’t realise we have a very large store packaging division that’s completely unrelated to pet food,” says Quinn.
“In addition to work in that space, our pet foods continue to gain more market share and while we’re probably moving away from double digit growth, we’ll still sit around the 8 to 9 per cent growth rate.
“Given that the manufacturing industry average is around 3 to 4 per cent, we’re doing very well and expect to remain in a strong position despite the challenges facing our exports.”
Quinn continues to be a strong performer on Australia’s motorsport scene, racing an Aston Martin and the VIP Pet Foods Porsche, which came in third place behind both Audi factory teams at the Bathurst 12-hour race on February 6.
Top Companies 2011 Profile: VIP Petfoods
CEO: Tony Quinn
Revenue ’10: $300 million
Forecast growth: 8 per cent
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