As the numbers grew Hennie realized that he needed his own outlets to sell his product and in 1995 he opened 3 butchery shops in Worcester, Ceres and Robertson. Once these outlets were up and running to the high standards he desired he finally completed the meat supply chain. Hennie spotted an opportunity within the meat industry, which was available due to its deregulation, by purchasing a Municipal abattoir in Robertson in 1998.
The initial standards of the abattoir were way short of what he believed in and so Hennie started on an aggressive phase of upgrading his abattoir to meet the highest of standards with regards to Animal Welfare, Quality and Food Safety. In a very short space of time the abattoir was able to meet the most demanding of South African Food Retail Standards. Because of his intense focus on quality and building relationships Hennie and his dedicated team have grown Robertson abattoir from initially employing only 18 employees to its current level of over 200. Robertson Abattoir is now one of the largest employers within its rural catchment area.
As the reputation of Robertson Abattoir’s products grew so did the demand from likeminded customers who only wanted the best products on their shelves. A unique aspect of Robertson compared to other meat processors is its long-standing relationships with a few but very loyal customers. This loyalty has been a win-win for everyone. Robertson’s customers consistently receive the product they require whilst Robertson Abattoir has been able to constantly invest and upgrade the facilities to meet the most demanding of standards.
Despite producing between 3000 to 4000 lambs and 300 to 500 cattle per week Robertson Abattoir can count its main customers on one hand. Examples are Excellent Meats in Cape Town, and Woolworths (pty) Ltd, who Robertson has been supplying for 18 and 13 years respectively.
This mutuality and long term thinking has enabled Robertson to constantly upgrade its facilities as SAFAM only procures and slaughters South Aftrican Lamb and Beef and through strict controls we ensure our customers are consistently happy with our products. Robertson has invested in their own research to look at production methods, which ensure we consistently exceed our customers requirements. These (or) our methods simply put, are what keeps our customers loyal and ensure they keep coming back for product time and time again.
Robertson is very proud that it has passed on this thinking of long-term relationships and mutuality to enable success and growth with its own suppliers. Robertson knows it can only meet its customers demands consistently by ensuring it sources livestock from farmers who feel the same way. Keeping our customers happy by consistently exceeding their expectations. This flow back of loyalty down the supply chain allows farmers to invest in their business and rear livestock that consistently provides SAFAM with product that exceeds our customers demands.