Forrest’s injection beefs up Harvey

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Andrew Forrest, right, with Jonathan Green, great grandson of Harvey Beef founder, Ernest Green.
Camera IconAndrew Forrest, right, with Jonathan Green, great grandson of Harvey Beef founder, Ernest Green. Credit: The West Australian

Harvey Beef made a net profit of more than $3 million in the first full year of operations under the ownership of Andrew Forrest and now carries cattle worth more than $10 million on its books.

The big investment in cattle reflects a new approach to adding value to the WA supply chain through a 100-day grain feeding program.

Harvey Beef had just 284 cattle valued at $258,618 on its books at the end of 2013-14.

Twelve months later, it had 8502 cattle valued at $10.28 million. Those cattle were spread across a handful of feedlots being prepared for slaughter in accordance with specific weight and quality guidelines.

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Under the production model, Harvey Beef buys cattle, puts them into feedlots and processes them for sale under its black label brand.

One of the aims is to ensure a consistent 12-month supply of cattle for the premium brand, which is starting to make a mark overseas and in WA’s leading restaurants.

Mr Forrest is also putting his stamp on the prominent WA agribusiness by investing tens of million of dollars in new freezer stores and a retail-ready plant.

The new facilities are taking shape at Harvey and on target to open in the first half of 2016-17.

They will add a new dimension to operations under Harvey Beef’s plans to put meat straight into retail packs and ship it out. Much of the retail-ready product will be sold overseas under the black label brand.

Harvey Beef is processing about 140,000 head of cattle a year for the domestic and export markets.

Management was reluctant to comment on the 2014-15 financial result, but the commitment to adding value in the supply chain has earned praise from the WA feedlot industry. Net profit of $3.14 million was down from $4.86 million in the six months to June 30, 2014.

Sales revenue was $213.41 million compared with $85.3 million in the second half of 2013-14.

Mr Forrest paid about $45 million just over 18 months ago to return Harvey Beef, established by the Green family in 1919, to WA hands.

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