Iconic Western Australian company, D’Orsogna Limited, has commenced production at its $66 million state-of-the-art 11,000 square metre food manufacturing facility in Victoria. Officially opened last week at Merrifield Business Park, 30km north of Melbourne, by Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Martin Pakula, it will soon employ 200 people and firmly establish D’Orsogna as a national market leader in the smallgoods and meat protein food sector.
The 70-year-old business with a new production base in Victoria and headquarters in Palmyra, Western Australia, where it employs a further 550 people, is one of the most recognisable brands at Woolworths, Coles, Metcash and food service businesses. Managing Director, Greig Smith, speaking at the opening alongside Chairman Tony Iannello and Directors Marco D’Orsogna and Massimo Valentini, said the D’Orsogna name, brand and products were now firmly established on the east coast.
“We’ve taken a measured approach to such a substantial investment after establishing a modest footprint in Victoria 10 years ago at Mt Waverley. The new Merrifield production facility will secure the future of the D’Orsogna business,” Mr Smith said. “Breaking new ground in business, even as a market leader, comes at considerable cost and we pay tribute and thank the Victorian Government and City of Hume for their financial and other support.
“We commit today to repaying that investment by the state and local community with this first-class food manufacturing business that already employs local citizens and delivers environmentally, socially and financially,” he said. Minister Pakula said the Victorian Government proudly backed the expansion by D’Orsogna that brought jobs to Melbourne’s north and opened opportunities for export and growth in a vital food and fibre sector that made up almost half of the state’s exports and was valued at $14 billion.
The D’Orsogna family first had a presence in Melbourne in 1947 when D’Orsogna brothers Giovanni and Tommaso worked there in the food and hospitality industry for two years before returning to Perth to open a small family butcher shop in West Perth in 1949.
Headquartered in Perth, WA market leader D’Orsogna produces a range of cured and cooked whole and sliced hams, gourmet continental goods, bacon and cooked sausages.
The landmark WA premises at Palmyra, near the port of Fremantle, has been D’Orsogna’s home since 1973 and will retain its head office status, staff and production. D’Orsogna Chairman, Tony Iannello, told the 50 guests at the opening and plaque unveiling that the new Victorian facility would double D’Orsogna’s production capacity and generate development opportunities for its extensive range of innovative ham, bacon and other meat protein products.
“Proximity to major markets, streamlined manufacturing processes and state-of-the art equipment, all supported by well trained staff, a committed management and board and supportive customers should ensure its success,” Mr Iannello said. “Productivity per square metre of floor space will be leading edge, allowing us to be competitive and satisfy growing consumer demand for fresh, conveniently packaged, modern meat protein products.
“This facility incorporates the latest energy and water conservation technology, reflecting our focus on sustainable and efficient processes to drive design and ultimately production efficiency. “The 8500 square metres of rooftop solar, powers a one megawatt system that will greatly reduce operational costs and carbon emissions on site.”
Mr Iannello said D’Orsogna chose Victoria for its competitive operating environment, reputation in foods, access to key transport infrastructure and rapidly growing local and export markets. “D’Orsogna is proudly Australian owned with a focus on quality, growth and local investment and we have ambitious expansion plans over the next few years,” he said.