• Janbak MD Michael Hamilton.
    Janbak MD Michael Hamilton.
  • Janbak stacked pallet.
    Janbak stacked pallet.
  • Janbak has forged a reputation in allergen control, sensitive, and high value processing.
    Janbak has forged a reputation in allergen control, sensitive, and high value processing.

With a 60-year history along with changing hands and direction over the years, specialised blender and packer Janbak has demerged from Earlee Products to further grow its reputation. Kim Berry speaks to managing director Michael Hamilton.

This year marks the 60th anniversary for Janbak as well as the year it returns to operating independently.

Around 12 years ago, managing director Michael Hamilton, and his father (Bob) and owner of ingredients company Earlee Products, acquired Janbak and brought it into the family’s business group. Over the following decade, Hamilton ran Janbak, strengthening and growing its expertise in sensitive manufacturing.

Its main capabilities are to offer a range of liquid and powder blending with a range of different pack sizes (paper sack/SUP/jar packing, sachet packing and liquid decanting). Other products include its ever-popular Premium Honey Powder and their own bakery, health and wellness products. 

Janbak has also forged a reputation in allergen control, sensitive and high value processing with special attention on reducing wastage. This is all supported by certification from SQF, ACO, Halal and Kosher Australia.

Hamilton says quality, support, and flexibility underpin Janbak along with an ongoing appetite for learning.

“The discovery process with our customers goes beyond the immediate need they have presented to us. Unlocking their vision for the product and overall business provides a better picture for us and more opportunities to connect successfully. The real key here is providing the customer with freedom.

“Every situation is different and under the ever-changing pressures on the world today the thing that the customer values most fits into a broad spectrum, from price competitive to top tier quality, and sometimes both.

“Generally, we all are looking to improve profit and growth, but safety, consistency and reliability can’t be ignored,” Hamilton says.

As Janbak honed its areas of specialisation, it also grew from a team of six to 15 and a turnover of $1 million to around $4 million.  

The pandemic gave the company time to invest heavily in its manufacturing rooms, spending $500,000 in upgrades to provide better control over operations and capacity to grow.

Janbak MD Michael Hamilton.
Janbak MD Michael Hamilton.

The demerger also meant a new ERP program was implemented, which Hamilton says has provided greater dexterity with the company’s data and insights into the business.

“Janbak has a long history in the food industry, and it has accumulated unique know-how that only comes with that depth of experience,” he says.

The company’s quality manager, Trevor Gibbs, points out that the company has grown to one that supports businesses of all sizes, domestic and international, to seize opportunities.

“With our accreditations, we are very well positioned to help with short-term and bespoke projects. We know how hard it is for manufacturers to try something new. By using Janbak’s facility and services our customers don’t have to corrupt their supply and production chains.

“The customers capabilities are often pushed to their limits, and it could be a catastrophe to force a trial or seasonal promotion product in somewhere. By maintaining top tier food safety systems like our SQF program, Janbak is perfectly positioned to help customers avoid these roadblocks, because if you aren’t developing new products, you are standing still, which is a great way to fall behind your competitors,” Gibbs says.

Hamilton adds, “For our customers, it is easy to be distracted from what their business needs from them, especially on the back of growth, supply, or labour issues. We take away the manufacturing headaches, freeing up time for them to focus on growing their business.”

As Janbak marks 60 years of operating, for Hamilton and the Janbak team, it heralds a new era for the company with its sensitive manufacturing expertise in high demand and capacity to scale holding it in good stead for the future. 

This story first appeared as the Rising Star feature in the February/March edition of Food & Drink Business magazine. 

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