Family business with an international focus

Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm is taking its fresh chicken products to the world.

After many years of selling frozen products to Hong Kong, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and PNG, Hazeldene’s is now exporting fresh products to Hong Kong several times a week in order to meet growing demand.

Hazeldene’s is the biggest private employer in Bendigo with more than 700 employees and 400 contractors, most of whom come from the area. This family business, which produces chickens for market from breeding to plate, has been operating for more than 60 years. It processes up to 680,000 chickens a week at Lockwood, with breeding and rearing farms, a hatchery, growing farms and a processing plant across Central Victoria.

Hazeldene’s Executive Director John Hazeldene said the company, which prides itself on producing quality chickens and presenting them in innovative ways, was starting to reap the rewards of building relationships and contacts throughout Asia.

“The quality of our product is drawing plenty of attention and we are creating a highly sought after brand position in Hong Kong,” he said.

“While exports currently make up only a small portion of our overall sales, we are keen to expand this section of the business rapidly over the next five years.”

Mr Hazeldene said it was important for the company to do plenty of ground work now in building capabilities, gaining accreditations and finetuning logistics in preparation for the planned growth.

Recent Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) negotiated by the Federal Government have encouraged Hazeldene’s to pursue export markets more aggressively.

“These FTAs may open up areas that we have not had direct access to previously,” Mr Hazeldene said. “We are very optimistic they will lead to strong opportunities for growth.”

For “Australia has a reputation for growing high quality fresh food – we pride ourselves on producing the best chicken in the country so a growing export market will enhance both our and Australia’s reputation.”

For more information contact Sue Titcumb on 0417 368 671.