Located in the cool and temperate climate of the south-eastern Australian state of Victoria, VHSP (Victorian Hide & Skin Producers Pty Ltd) produce wet-blue (split or unsplit) and salted cattle hides, and wet-blue or drum salted calfskins for leather manufacturers worldwide.

Although hides from the tick-free southern regions are favoured for their clean grain with minimum defects, the regular supply of a consistently high quality product is not always an easy task when dealing with natural products, various meatworks and a tender-based raw material buying system.

VHSP have, therefore, been working for many years to establish strategic supply alliances with local world class meatworks to ensure a regular supply of products of consistent quality.

VHSP have been successful in securing an exclusive supply from three major export meatworks, which enable VHSP to offer some premium items particular to these individual meatworks. They were selected by VHSP for their commitment to quality practices – from the careful selection of their livestock and cattle-care programmes, through to their own transportation and the latest in hide pulling techniques. Their ability to supply regular quantities year round ensures consistency of quality.

In order to increase the quality of the hide, VHSP work together with the meatworks and their cattle producers to develop a more valuable product right from the source. With the hide quality improvement schemes which VHSP have developed with the cattle producers of SBA Foods, Coles and Rockdale Beef, they are able to monitor the ongoing quality of hides from an individual producer and apply monetary incentives to the farmer for improved quality.

VHSP have assisted their strategic supply partners in educating cattle producers in improved hide quality through information booklets, seminars and joint tours through Victoria, Tasmania and King Island, visiting producers.

A division of one of Australia’s largest public companies Coles/Myer Ltd, ‘Coles Supermarkets’ produce beef cuts for their own 400 Australia-wide retail outlets, as well as export lines.

The Coles/Myer group are one of the world’s top 25 retailers and a leader in quality practices. VHSP have been working with Coles for a number of years and both companies are dedicated to hide improvement programmes and have seen the benefits they can provide.

Exclusive supply of the Victorian origin Coles hides enables VHSP to offer Victorian origin wet-blue hides of consistent quality since a major portion of the hides processed come from the one meatworks.

Located in the agricultural rich Riverina region of southern New South Wales, ‘Rockdale Beef’ is a 2,000 hectare environmentally managed feedlot – holding a stock of 45,000 head and processing 150,000 cattle per year. Yard space per head is 1.5 times larger than regular feedlots and shaded areas are provided through the summer.

The traditional British stock of mainly Angus, Murray Grey and their crossbreeds are sourced from the temperate fields of southern New South Wales and Victoria. The cattle are fed on clean, fresh, locally grown ingredients and spend their 240 day feedlot programme with minimal handling and physical stress for optimum hide quality.

Favoured by upholstery and automotive tanners, the heavy weight Rockdale feedlot hides are supplied salted, trimmed and fleshed and are identified by the blue plastic wrappers displaying the Rockdale and VHSP logos.

‘SBA Foods’ are the largest meatworks in the southern states of Australia, including the southern-most island state of Tasmania and King Island which is located in Bass Strait. Cattle are raised in lush green valleys with minimal disturbance, and the hides are regarded as among the best in the world.

In order to maintain their position at the premium end of the international food market, SBA Foods individually select their own cattle for processing and encourage their suppliers to follow the world’s best farm management practices.

The SBA origin hides are wet-blue processed at VHSP and marketed as a Premium quality hide to the high-end leather manufacturers. They are easily identified in their unique grey coloured pallet wrapping featuring both the SBA and VHSP logos.

Another successful joint venture for VHSP has been the establishment of their wet-blue calfskin process with the largest tanner in Japan, Nippi Inc and the diversified multinational trading house, Toray International. With Victoria being the main dairy cattle centre, VHSP have, for many years, been well established as the largest salted calfskin producer in Australia.

Combining Nippi’s expert knowledge and long history of calfskin tanning with VHSP’s technology, large volume calf supply and handling capabilities, VHSP is now placed as the only wet-blue calfskin processor/exporter in Australia.

VHSP’s successes in developing these partnerships have also been recognised with the Arthur Andersen Enterprise Award for Building Strategic Alliances.

Their commitment to developing strategic supply partners for the ongoing betterment of consistent hide supply and quality has put VHSP at the forefront of the intermediate leather supply industry.

Further information on VHSP’s products can be viewed on the company’s website at [http://www.vhsp.com.au]