JBS will supply a third of Australia’s pig meat after announcing it will buy Rivalea piggery in a $175 million deal.

Key points:

  • JBS has announced a takeover of major piggery Rivalea
  • The takeover includes abattoirs in Corowa and Diamond Valley in Melbourne
  • The purchase is subject to ACCC and foreign investment board approval

The takeover represents a major purchase for JBS, which is the world’s largest meat processor. 

The Brazilian-based company employs more than 11,000 people in Australia and conducts more than a quarter of the nation’s meat kill.

Rivalea, which was in Singaporean QAF Ltd’s hands for 20 years, employs more than 1,200 people and produces pork on farms in Victoria and Southern New South Wales.

Rivalea also owns abattoirs in Corowa and has a majority stake in Victoria’s largest pig abattoir Diamond Valley Pork at Laverton in Melbourne.

It has brands, marketing and sales teams in Australia and South East Asia.

The new company owned by JBS would represent more than a third of Australia’s pig kill and already some Australian pig producers are saying they are concerned about competition for pig meat.

JBS was already a major player in pork in Australia and a major producer of small goods after acquiring Primo in 2015.

This purchase of Rivalea is subject to regulatory approval by Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Man in suit standing at fence of cattle saleyard

JBS chief executive Brent Eastwood says the company plans to ‘invest significantly’ in the Rivalea business (

Supplied

)

In a statement, JBS Australia CEO Brent Eastwood said the company plans to invest in Rivalea.

“We intend to grow the use of domestic pork in JBS Australia’s operations, particularly within our Primo business, through further value-adding and processing, while unlocking new opportunities for Australian pork in international export markets,” the statement said.

Farmers give takeover cautious thumbs up

A man in a hay shed holding a pig

Echuca pork producer Tim Kingma is hoping the JBS acquisition of Rivalea will boost production of Australian processed pork in ham, bacon and other small goods(

Supplied: Victorian Farmers Federation

)

North central Victorian pig farmer and president of the Victorian Farmers Federation pig group, Tim Kingma said the takeover was a significant development for the industry.

Mr Kingma hoped the JBS purchase of Rivalea will allow for more Australian pork to make its way onto supermarket shelves by way of processed products. 

Mr Kingma sends his pigs for processing to Diamond Valley Pork at Laverton and said he was not overly concerned about a potential lack of competition arising from the JBS takeover.

“I would hope that with JBS’s strength in the world scene that they would increase exports and that would be another positive for our industry.”

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