1 February 2024

Cedar Meats sale deal finalised with Kairouz in charge

Victorian small stock processor Cedar Meats has been sold to a new entity after the failed acquisition by Global Meat Exports, an AustAgri Group Limited subsidiary.

Cedar United Abattoirs Pty Ltd acquired of Cedar Meats Australia on 30 January 2024 and will continue the west Melbourne plant’s operations with Tony Kairouz as chief operating officer.

Cedar Meats was advertised for sale early last year due to the Kairouz family being unable to finalise a purchase deal with Global Meat Exports Pty Ltd. The GME deal to transition the Brooklyn-based sheep, lamb, veal and goat processor into a $300 million ‘paddock-to-plate’ conglomerate with intentions to list on the Australian Stock Exchange was first announced in October 2021.

CUA today said it is looking to build upon the foundations laid down by the Kairouz family over 40 years ago, growing a family butcher shop in Northcote in 1984 to a fully integrated meat export facility processing up to 300 tonnes of meat per day.

Cedar Meats is a small stock specialist that is licensed to export throughout the world and employs more than 300 people at its Brooklyn facility, processing lambs, sheep, calves and goats.

CUA said it sees significant opportunities to grow the business through increased penetration into existing international markets, as well as a new focus on domestic sales growth.

Mr Kairouz said he is looking forward to working with CUA to take the business to the next level.

“We welcome CUA’s corporate expertise and financial resources to help Cedar Meats achieve its full potential under the existing operational team.

“This is an exciting time for all of us and I am proud to be able to continue to operate our family business.”


Media Inquiries Only:

Simone Gandur


13 October 2021

Global Meat Exports Pty Ltd (GME) secures pathway for growth

The recent transition of the Cedar Meats business into the GME fold is the beginning of a much larger planned expansion for the overall business into the Australian agricultural sector.

GME will now prioritise the inclusion of Cedar’s Mildura plant and is also in the final stages of negotiating a third facility to amalgamate.

Importantly, new investment into the businesses has been welcomed. Now that the Cedar business transaction has been finalised, further investment and financing into the overall businesses can be completed over the coming months.

GME, is a wholly owned subsidiary of AustAgri Group Limited (AAGL). Over the coming months AAGL plans to complete its contractual obligations to GME. On completion of these obligations AAGL anticipates that it will list on ASX listed DomaCom’s fractional investment platform.

Cedar Meats will continue to operate and trade as normal. The business will remain family operated by both Pierre and Tony Kairouz and all current management and staff will remain.


Media Inquiries Only:

Simone Gandur


Download Statement here.

7 October 2021

Cedar Meats Corporatises to Enable Future Growth

Cedar Meats is pleased to announce that Global Meat Exports Pty Ltd (GME), is our new corporate parent entity.

The business will remain family operated with both Pierre and Tony Kairouz continuing to head up operations as well as maintaining a substantial ownership and control in the new corporate structure.

“The business will continue to trade as Cedar Meats Australia. General Manager Tony Kairouz said that it will continue to be business as usual.

“For some time the family shareholders have been working on succession planning and today that work has come to fruition. The transition enables two important objectives for Cedar Meats – firstly it allows non-participating and retiring family shareholders to depart.

Cedar Meats is a proud Australian owned and operated family business established in 1984.

The business started by the six Kairouz brothers as a butcher shop in suburban Northcote, Victoria, has since grown to a fully integrated, export meat processing facility operating in Brooklyn, Victoria, employing up to 300 people with a turnover greater than $200 million per annum.

“Secondly, with GME as our parent entity we are now able to realise the growth potential that we have been envisaging for some time. One of the first developments under this new structure will be to incorporate our second facility in Mildura to the broader GME operation. This plant is ready to commence and has only been awaiting the finalisation of the Cedar/GME deal to occur.

“We take this opportunity to sincerely thank our retiring family members, without whom, Cedar Meats could never have been the success it is today. We wish them the very best for their future and they will always be our family and no business will ever separate us.

Cedar Meats will briefly pause operations in order to complete the transition to GME.

“With community COVID transmissions so high in Victoria at the moment, it is an opportune time to close our operations for a week, commencing 11 October for the five-day working week. We are also taking the opportunity to ensure those staff who haven’t had their second COVID vaccination have it next week.

“We are so close to being the first in our industry to be fully vaccinated. I am really proud of where we are right now with all our staff having had their first dose and the vast majority having had their second dose and I look forward to reaching 100% double vaxxed,” Tony said.

We would like take this opportunity to thank our loyal staff, suppliers, customers, contractors and everyone else who have been a part of the Cedar Meats journey so far. We look to the next phase of our journey and development.


Media Inquiries Only:

Simone Gandur


Download Statement here.

12 September 2021

Cedar Meats 2019 Work Place Incident Concludes

A workplace incident that took place in Cedar Meats’ Geelong Road, Brooklyn processing plant concluded today.  The incident took place in 2019 when one of our employees caught her hand in a conveyor – the incident resulted in a significant injury to our employee’s hand.

The conveyor was guarded, however, this proved to be inadequate.  “We pleaded guilty to this early on and while this is our first prosecution since Cedar Meats commenced operations in 1984, it is one too many,” General Manager, Tony Kairouz said.

“We immediately rectified the guarding and I appointed a specialist conveyor safety consultant to review our conveyors the week after the incident, so as to understand how we could improve their operational safety.  As a result, we have made all the necessary changes to all of our conveyors to ensure their safe operation.

“The health and safety of our staff has always been our number one priority and I am proud of our occupational health and safety and workplace safety record – it speaks for itself. We are a family business and all of our staff are treated as family.”

“We will continue to support our staff member in any way we can.” Tony said.

Media Inquiries Only:

Simone Gandur


Download Statement here.

February 2021

COVID inquiry praises Cedar Meats

Cedar Meats Australia

Tara Murray

An inquiry into the state government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has praised Cedar Meats for its co-operation during an outbreak at its Brooklyn processing facility last year.

Cedar Meats was the site of the state’s largest COVID-19 outbreak during the first wave of the virus, resulting in 111 cases during April and May.

The public accounts and estimates committee report, which was tabled in State Parliament last week, praised Cedar Meats for co-operating with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) during the outbreak, noting the company was “responsive to all requests for information” by DHHS.

The report also revealed that it took DHHS officers 13 days to request all the information needed to conduct full contact tracing.
Former health minister Jenny Mikakos had earlier advised the committee that the necessary information to allow comprehensive contract tracing of all staff and visitors to Cedar Meats was not provided the DHHS until May 4, the report stated.

The inquiry found that DHHS did not have access to data on the total number of people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 at Cedar Meats until nine days after the site’s first case was identified on April 24, however it said this was because the information wasn’t requested for a number of days.

The report stated that emails provided by Cedar Meats to the inquiry showed that the details of all truck drivers who had been at the facility for more than 30 minutes since April 1 was not requested until May 3, while the contact details of four commonwealth meat inspectors who visited Cedar Meats in April 2020 was not requested until May 5.

DHHS did not request the site’s visitor log for March and April until May 7, according to the report.

On each occasion, Cedar Meats provided the information requested either on the day asked or the following day, the inquiry found.

In a submission to the inquiry, Cedar Meats stated that “at no time did DHHS complain to Cedar Meats about a lack of co-operation, or for any other reason. Rather, to the contrary, DHHS was highly complimentary of Cedar Meats’ responsible and co-operative approach to what was (and remains) a very serious public health issue”.

The inquiry’s findings follow a decision by WorkSafe Victoria in December last year to not take any action against Cedar Meats following an investigation into the company’s handling of the outbreak.

The inquiry also found that the majority of virus transmission during the state’s second wave occurred in five of Victoria’s most disadvantaged areas.

Wyndham, Brimbank, Hume, Whittlesea and Melton had the most active COVID-19 cases as of December 1 and are among the 10 most disadvantaged councils in the state.

The report said the five council areas have a higher than average percentage of insure work.

Originally published here.

February 2021

Cedar Meats Contributes to Parliamentary Inquiries

Cedar Meats recently gave evidence at two Victorian Parliamentary Inquiries into COVID-19.  The Inquiries were set up to understand the State Government’s response to the first outbreak and the pressure points at a systemic level.

Cedar Meats submitted detailed evidence to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee’s (PAEC) Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Upper House Joint Committee into COVID-19 Contact Tracing System and Testing Regime.

“I was called to give evidence at the Contact Tracing Committee in December and the Committee was very thankful for the detailed and frank account of our organisation’s experience that I outlined” Tony Kairouz General Manager Cedar Meats said.

“From the moment we knew we had our very first case of COVID-19, I have always said we need to work with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and follow what they say.  From this time on, myself, my senior management and my family have done everything we can, not just to protect our own Cedar Meats family, but our community and to share what we know and what we have learnt to contribute to a safer Victoria.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of how we collectively responded to the unprecedented health crisis of COVID-19 during 2020  – not just during the event but financial investment afterwards to keep our people safe and the additional policies and procedures we introduced having learnt what we did in April and early May last year.

“That’s why I was so happy to invest a significant amount of time sharing the Cedar Meats experience and learnings with both Parliamentary Committees.  Our input to the Inquiries is clear from the reports published and tabled in parliament. 

Findings from the PAEC Final Report (page 37-38)

FINDING 20: Cedar Meats were responsive to all requests for information by the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the COVID-19 outbreak that took place at the Brooklyn Cedar Meats facility.

FINDING 21: The Department of Health and Human Services did not request information that would allow comprehensive contact tracing of all staff and visitors to the Cedar Meats facility until 11:53pm on 7 May 2020, 13 days after the first case was identified.

The PAEC report also noted:  At the public hearings on 15 December 2020, the Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria advised the Committee that an investigation of Cedar Meats had not found evidence of any breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.148

“I will continue to represent Cedar Meats if and when asked by Parliament or the Government if it is believed that our experience and knowledge can help keep the community safe or people working in industrial settings safe from health crisis in the future,” Tony said.

Stay Safe.

Read the PAEC Report here The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee has today presented the second report for its inquiry considering the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the Contact Tracing Report here The report into the Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing System and Testing Regime has been tabled out of session and is now available online. The report can be accessed at our website here:

Download the document here.

3 December 2020

Cedar Meats cleared by WorkSafe

Cedar Meats cleared by WorkSafe

Download the document here.

3 August 2020

A statement from Cedar Meats

Cedar Meats will re-commence operating tomorrow, Tuesday 4 August, 2020 after being provided with the all clear from the public health team at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

All staff at Cedar Meats were tested from COVID-19 between 31 July and 2 August, 2020.  The results show there is no transmission of COVID at Cedar Meats.

Cedar Meats’ Management welcome the announcement by the Government today relating to extra safety measures for abattoirs –specifically the medical level PPE, staggering shifts and breaks, temperature checks on entry etc. 

Cedar Meats already has these measures in place and believes these latest test results show that these measures work.

Cedar Meats will continue to follow the advice of the DHHS and thanks the public health team for its support and advice.


Please Stay Safe.

Media Inquiries Only:

Simone Gandur


Download our full media statement here.

31 July 2020

A statement from Cedar Meats

Cedar Meats received a phone call today from the public health team at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to alert us that one of our staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff member had last worked on site on Wednesday 22 July, 2020.   We have followed DHHS’ advice and had all close contacts of that staff member tested on site today at our premises in Brooklyn. 

We have asked all of our staff to isolate until further notice, as per government guidelines.   Our main priority is our staff’s health and wellbeing.

We will continue to follow the advice of DHHS as we await the results of the testing undertaken today.

The Management of Cedar Meats is thankful for the support and advice of the public health team at DHHS. 

Please Stay Safe.


Media Inquiries Only:

Simone Gandur



Download our full media statement here.

27 May 2020

Cedar Meats to re open

Cedar Meats will restart all aspects of its operations, including processing, on Thursday 28 May, 2020.

On Wednesday 27 May 2020 staff who have been medically cleared by DHHS to start work attended a return to work information session at Cedar Meats’ Brooklyn site.

“I am really looking forward to having the Cedar family back together. As a management team we have spent the last few weeks working closely with DHHS and WorkSafe to ensure that we are returning in the safest possible manner,” General Manager, Tony Kairouz said.

“Our aim is to provide a safe and healthy environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The control measures will be regularly updated to reflect changes resulting from Government announcements, directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and best practices for the sector,” Tony said.

“Approximately 300 staff will return to work this week. DHHS has provided us with a list of all staff that are cleared to return to work.

“I’d personally like to thank both DHHS and Worksafe for being available to us at all hours and answering the many questions we have had about how we move forward.

“We have done everything possible to provide a safe work environment for our staff. The safety and wellbeing of all people will always be our number one priority and inherent in that is a happy place to work and thriving business that provides security of
income to our people and their families, Tony said.”

Please note that no-one from Cedar Meats is available for interview.

Media inquiries only: 0404 813 771.

Download our full media statement here.

5 May 2020

A message from Cedar Meats General Manager Tony Kairouz

4 May 2020

A message from Cedar Meats General Manager Tony Kairouz

A number of our employees have tested positive for coronavirus in one of our facilities in West Melbourne.

The welfare and safety of our staff, visitors, suppliers and customers is our highest priority.

All workers are self-quarantining and we are working closely with the Victorian health authorities.

All meat processed at our facilities is processed in accordance with Australian Standards for food safety and our customers can be confident that the meat processed at our facilities is safe to eat.

For media enquiries please contact: Simone Gandur 0404 813 771

Download our full media statement here.

Additional Background:

For a media statement from PrimeSafe visit:

For information on food and coronavirus transmission visit the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website at: