UK meat and poultry supplier Gilbert’s Foods has expanded its operations through the opening of a division in Australia.

Gilberts, which supplies to the UK wholesale, retail and foodservice sectors, has opened a facility in Brisbane for the handling, sourcing, importing and exporting of meat products. The company will initially produce 20 products for the Australian retail and foodservice sectors.

Gilberts could not comment on which retailers it had secured listings with when contacted by just-food.

The company said it has plans for more UK and international trade and has several acquisitions in the pipeline.

“This is a very exciting time for Gilbert’s Foods as we have officially launched the Australian division … and our growth plans for the next 12 months look very positive,” said Peter Smith. “The Australian office will allow us to break into the retail, foodservice and wholesale markets over there and we have already secured some lucrative contracts.

“At the moment, our focus is on finished pork and lamb products but as the business develops, we will be increasing our offering, with the aim of becoming a well-respected, quality meat supplier in the Australian market.”

In the UK, Gilberts said it smashed its sales target of GBP10m (US$15m) in 2012, up from GBP6m in the prior year.

The firm said further growth is planned for 2013, with a focus on developing the UK market and expansion into Europe.