A STAWELL meat exporter is confident of expanding into the Asian market.
Frew Group of Companies owner and managing director Robert Frew said Frewstal had its final audit for a tier-two export licence on Wednesday last week.
“We are fairly confident we will get it,” he said.
“Tier-two will probably open up more Asian markets for us.”
Mr Frew said planning to upgrade Frewstal’s slaughter floor and server processing rooms to accommodate the increase in business was already underway.
Frewstal has been exporting on a tier-one licence for the past three years, predominantly to the Middle East.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan will open existing upgrades and expansions to the site in Abattoir Road on Thursday.
It will form part of his visit to the region.
Mr Frew said the ceremony would highlight the new site entry, upgrades to refrigeration, power plant and load-out areas, and a new freezer and chiller area.
“We are just very proud of what the management and staff have achieved at the site over the past three years, and also happy with the support we’ve had from council and the State Government,” he said.
Frewstal has more than 420 employees.
The Frew Group of Companies has run the business since 1984.
Northern Grampians Shire Council chief executive Justine Linley said Frewstal had experienced incredible growth.
“It has gone from being what people would have traditionally thought of as a meat abattoir to a meat exporting business,” she said.
She said investment in equipment and staff training had been significant.
“We’re seeing the benefits of that now,” she said.
Emphasising growth of Northern Grampians businesses such as Frewstal will be high on council’s priorities when it meets Mr Ryan on Thursday.
“We are really keen to make sure the government sees the growth potential in the seat of Ripon,” Mrs Linley said.
Council will also lobby for initiatives such as increased funding for Western Highway duplication before the state election in November.