Colac processor leaves door open for Coles

CRF’s chief says a door is open for the Colac lamb processor to win back a contract with supermarket giant Coles.

Coles switched from the Colac processor to Melbourne supplier JBS in December, forcing CRF to look to other businesses to rebuild its order numbers.

But CRF managing director Jack Barclay said there had also been “very informal talks” with Coles.

“We’re talking to everyone and anyone – we’re having discussions looking at potential opportunities and Coles

are one of those players,” Mr Barclay said.

“These things don’t happen quickly, we’ve just got to put a proposal up and look at how that potentially works better for that customer,” he said.

Mr Barclay said Coles was unlikely to break a contract with the Melbourne supplier.

“But I’m not sure what scope they have to buy product from CRF,” he said.

“I’m sure there’s a door open but it’s got to fit with Coles’ short-term, longer-term requirements.”

Meanwhile, Mr Barclay said CRF would have a “one-off” weekend processing shift tomorrow to meet extra demand for lamb.

He said the four-hour shift would involve about 100 employees.

“The numbers are quite strong at the moment so we’ll be operating this Saturday and it’s just to be monitored week by week,” he said.

“I would encourage anyone who’s interested in work to get in contact with us because there’s definitely work here.

“And as we look to increase the numbers it’s all looking very positive and we should be able to offer people long-term jobs as we get back on and grow the business.”

CRF has done sample trials for a new Melbourne-based food export company, which came on board this week.

“You’ve got to get out in the marketplace and differentiate yourself and it takes time,” Mr Barclay said.

“I think we produce a very good product, we’re competitive on price but so much of business is done on relationships and we need to convince potential customers that we’re a better supplier and long-term partner than how

they may be doing at the moment,” he said.

Coles failed to return the Colac Herald’s calls.

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