Big River Pork announces 140 new jobs, $14 million expansion

Big River Pork will put on 140 extra workers at its Brinkley processing plant as the result of a $14 million expansion announced today.

The expansion will allow the company to increase production to meet a new long-term supply agreement with customers in the eastern states.

It will also aim to begin exporting to other countries besides Singapore.

Another 45 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase, and there will be flow-on benefits for pork producers, transport operators and feed suppliers.

Work on two new carcass chillers, adding to the six already operating on the site, has already begun.

New dry goods stores and car parks will be added at a later stage.

The first new workers will start at Big River Pork in March, and the expansion will be finished by 2019.

Company chairman Geoff Hampel said a $900,000 state government grant – half from the Regional Development Fund, half from the Economic Investment Fund – had been "crucial" to getting the project over the line.

"We have started discussions with the Department for State Development ... on how we can tap into the skilled workforce in this region for the extra staff we will need," he said.

"I thank and congratulate everyone at Big River Pork for their skills and dedication in growing the success of this company since we started in 2001, and positioning us for this major expansion.

"We are a proud company – proud of our culture, our history, our product and this state – and we look forward to continuing to grow in South Australia."

Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the extra jobs would have gone interstate if Investment Attraction South Australia, a state government agency, had not intervened.

“This expansion is great news for the state,” he said.

Big River Pork already employs 190 people at Brinkley.

Its workforce and the majority of the pork it processes are both sourced locally.

The expansion will boost South Australia's economic output by $79 million over the next 10 years.

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