Victoria’s largest independent butcher, Tasman Market Fresh Meats, has been placed into voluntary administration.
David McEvoy and Martin Ford of PwC Australia have been appointed as voluntary administrators
The company, which trades as Tasman Meats, has 17 stores throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
“We intend to continue trading the majority of the store network, with a view to selling the business as a going concern,” Mr McEvoy said in a statement.
“We are confident that there will be strong interest from prospective buyers and we hope to preserve jobs for the majority of the company’s employees.”
Tasman employs about 150 full time staff and a similar number of casual employees.
In April, research was released showing that in 2017 supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths captured more than half Australia’s $13 billion fresh meat market between them.
Market leader, Woolworths Group, had a 26.5pc share – up 1.1pc on 2016 – while Coles Group gained two percentage points to lift its share to 24.3pc, according to analysis of long-term market trends by the Roy Morgan consumer research group.
Their combined 50.8pc share was larger than the combined selling power of all other meat retail outlets including rival supermarket groups Aldi and IGA, independent butchers and other supermarket and specialty outlets.
It was also the first time the two supermarkets have accounted for more than half of Australia’s entire fresh red meat, pork and poultry retail sales.
Roy Morgan research noted the big local retailers also enjoyed stronger growth in the segment than arch rival, Aldi, which now has a 9.6pc share of the fresh meat market after gaining 0.9pc in 2017.
“Although, all three supermarkets have clearly taken substantial market share from traditional butchers,” Roy Morgan chief executive officer, Michele Levine said.
In the past year fresh meat market share for butchers fell three percentage points, the steepest drop in a decade.
Just under a quarter (24pc) of the fresh meat sales are now through butchers and meat market vendors.
In 2010 they represented about a third of Australia’s fresh meat market sales.
Singapore-based private equity firm Equity Partners is the majority owner of Tasman meats, purchasing its stake in August 2013 from businessman Joe Catalfamo.
Tasman has been operating for for more than 30 years.
Tasman referred questions to PwC.