New HR boss has business chops
Bringing a wealth of experience to WA’s beef cattle industry, the newly appointed Harvest Road Group chief executive Paul Slaughter welcomed visitors to the seventh annual Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge field day last Tuesday at Willyung Farm, in Albany.
Born and bred in WA, Mr Slaughter has worked in domestic and international food industries for more than 25 years.
He worked for Campbell Arnott’s group and Procter and Gamble, and as Metcash general manager he directed a large-scale food and grocery business and oversaw a case-ready meat facility.
He was poached from Mrs Mac’s Pies by Harvey Beef owners Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s expanding agribusiness portfolio, part of their Tattarang group, following the departure of former Harvest Road chief Greg Harvey.
Mr Slaughter will now drive the next phase of growth of HR, one of Australia’s largest and most diverse agricultural businesses.
“I am now four weeks and 1.5 days into this fast-moving business,” he said.
“Ultimately we want to become one of Australia’s great food companies, through diversification.”
Mr Slaughter said he would aim for investment in core beef products, packaging, animal welfare innovation, and protein-related expansion of HR’s product range, catering to different types of products.
“We will aim for investment in packaging formats, general animal welfare, and expand our value-added product range, catering to customer requirements,” he said.
“We will reduce our carbon footprint using recyclable packaging, removing plastic entirely.”
Mr Slaughter said animal welfare was becoming increasingly important to the Forrest family.
“Looking after the animals we manage either directly or indirectly,” he said.
“Our Moora-based Koojan feedlot, for example, will have four times less density than your average feedlot. We are doing considerable work on sight, sound, and smell options to reduce stress on cattle.”
Mr Slaughter said cattle that were not stressed had better properties when being processed.
“This makes more sense from an ethical and business perspective,” he said.
“This is being applied to our existing business and we are working with our beef producer suppliers, particularly on the animal welfare path.”
Mr Slaughter said Harvey Beef was going through a review of its supply chain in regards to animal welfare, and targets would be set in the next six to 12 months.
“The drivers of sustainability is reducing methane first and foremost,” he said.
“Plans for Harvey Beef are in place to increase its capacity to meet consumer demand.
“We will continue to invest in aquaculture and food opportunities in general.”
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