About Us

What if new technology could achieve things you didn’t even know were possible?

That’s the question we ask ourselves every day in our quest to develop new, leading edge technologies for the protein processing industry.

Milmeq’s core purpose is to enable our clients to have high quality, premium tasting product for their customers globally.

Our vision is to be recognised as a global leader in protein processing systems delivering sustainable innovation and value to our partners.

Scroll down to learn more about our company history and achievements, our brand story and values, our people and partnerships, and the career opportunities we offer.

The Milmeq Story

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In the beginning

Milmeq’s story starts long before our operations began in 1952 under the banner of Refrigeration Engineering. In fact, our story starts in Britain in the 1800s.

The Industrial Revolution presented Britain with profound social change, including a rapidly expanding urban population. New lands were sought and settled to feed the growing masses; New Zealand was one of these.

With its remote location, lush fertile land, crystal clear water and sparse population, New Zealand was perfect for pastoral stocks and became a crucial supplier of meat to fuel the workers of the Industrial Revolution.

The new land was considered a paradise in the Pacific, offering settlers the opportunity to build a new life for themselves. New migrants were surrounded by breathtaking beauty but were also presented with very real hardships.

New Zealand was isolated and had a variable climate – from subtropical in the far north to temperate climates in the south and severe alpine conditions in the mountainous areas – these challenges fostered a unique culture with the new settlers.

Such isolation required a can-do attitude and an innovative approach to daily tasks. It was said that New Zealand settlers could create or fix anything with a bit of number eight wire. This mentality has been passed down through generations and is known today as the Kiwi way.

Our company’s foundation

By the mid-1900s, primary production was firmly established as the backbone of the New Zealand economy.

As demand for New Zealand products grew, so did the need for refrigeration to transport these products to offshore markets.

In 1952 we commenced operations as Refrigeration Engineering, providing services to meet that growing need.

We have always had the ethos that it is people that make the business, and this can be seen from the very beginnings of the company. Founder William Goodfellow contemplated entering the refrigeration industry for some time, but did not have the right person to run such a business.

When he heard UK company Lightfoot Refrigeration’s top overseas agent William Engle was immigrating to New Zealand, William Goodfellow met him at the port on his arrival and eventually gave him the mandate to create a refrigeration business.

Refrigeration Engineering was a proud, family business and quickly gained a reputation for innovation and a solutions-focus. Such early solutions included design and manufacture of evaporators for blast freezing meat, which provided significant improvements in efficiency and product quality.


Through the years

The agriculture sector continues to be a significant contributor to New Zealand’s export income and for more than 60 years our company has been a support vehicle to achieve this.

Our solutions-focus and can-do approach has seen us pioneer a number of new technologies, many of which have gone on to become industry standards.

We pioneered inverted lamb processing, and in the 1970s and 1980s we led the New Zealand sheep industry’s change from the conventional to the inverted system.

Today the inverted system is recognised worldwide as resulting in superior food hygiene and reduced contamination as well as reductions in hard manual labour.

We developed plate freezing technology to extend the shelf life of meat product being exported long distances.

We have since gone on to build the world’s largest plate freezers which are used across Australasia and are becoming popular in Europe.

Our chilling and freezing retention tunnels were the first of their kind; now they are a global standard that is being copied by our competitors.

At every stage, our success has been driven by the people within the business – we have always had the best people, but moreover the best people with the right attitude.

This focus on people has extended beyond our own staff, clients and suppliers to those in the wider community.

Our company has been built on a philosophy of philanthropy and giving to charities and community groups.

We have continued to look outward, diversifying our service offering and expanding our markets. Over our long history we have had many acquisitions and steady growth, and in 2011 our company was renamed as Milmeq.

Today and beyond

Today Milmeq specialises in providing a complete design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance service for primary food processing operations, including greenfield developments around the world.

Our pioneering spirit and Kiwi ingenuity has enabled us to become industry leaders in a global market.

We continue to develop new solutions to the challenges presented within primary production, such as the Milmeq fully automated stock transfer system (MFAST) which introduces automation into the sorting, storage and retrieval of chilled and frozen product.

Our reputation for innovative thinking and delivery of top quality, reliable systems has seen us become a multi award winning company. We innovate daily, with processes and support systems that are recognised as world leading.

As we develop, people continue to be at the heart of our business.

From experienced senior staff to graduates and apprentices, the sharing of knowledge and continuous growth of our people is a core focus for Milmeq.

Looking after people is always a priority and our commitment to health and safety goes beyond maintaining the highest standards within our own workplace, with every system we develop actively designed to keep our clients safe as well.

A proud family business, we come from a strong culture of innovation and dedication to providing quality solutions to our clients.

Milmeq is proudly a block in the foundation of the New Zealand economy, but our story is, and always has been, about the people.

Join us as we continue to lead the way in engineering for the future.

The Milmeq story is built on four core pillars:

People

Having the best people with the right attitude is the driving force behind our success.

Place

All of our solutions are proudly designed and manufactured in New Zealand, the small nation leading the world in primary food production.

Innovation

Daily innovation is at the heart of what we do, developing unique custom solutions to help our clients achieve superior levels of performance.

Quality

Every component of every system we produce is crafted to the highest quality and backed by an industry-leading warranty.

Company History

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We have a proud history of providing refrigeration and engineering services to the primary food processing industry for more than 60 years. Here are some of the milestones in our history:

1952 – We began operations in New Zealand under the name Refrigeration Engineering, providing chilling and freezing equipment to primary food producers to enable the export of their product.

Early engineering solutions included the design and manufacture of evaporators for blast freezing meat.

1955 – Business operations were expanded to include the wholesale of components for refrigeration, with an emphasis on quality stock, personal service and sound technical advice.

1960s – As our reputation grew, we were awarded a number of very large contracts for the development of greenfield plants as well as upgrades and expansions to existing plants across New Zealand.

1970s & 1980s – During this time three divisions within the company were clearly identified; industrial refrigeration systems, industrial mechanical systems and wholesale of components for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning.

1991 – We acquired the company Millers Mechanical, which added the unique engineering skillset for the design of robust processing systems for sheep and cattle.

1992 – We expanded operations into Brisbane, Australia, with the objective of marketing the range of unique engineering skills of both Refrigeration Engineering and Millers Mechanical. This operation was called Realcold Milmech.

The primary food processing market in Australia had many similarities with that of New Zealand and this facilitated rapid entry and expansion for Realcold Milmech.

1990s We developed new technologies including plate freezers and chilling and freezing tunnels to provide faster, more energy efficient chilling and freezing of meat and dairy products. Today these technologies are recognised as setting the industry standard.

1997 – Refrigeration Engineering developed the wholesale opportunity within consumables for meat processing, and this was set up as a new company, Argus Realcold, in both New Zealand and Australia. We also acquired a similar business in Australia called Refrigeration Equipment Sales (RES).

2009 – The company was restructured to divide the contracting and wholesale business units.

The wholesale business of Realcold Components (New Zealand) and RES (Australia) were merged and the new entity was named Realcold.

2011 – Our four engineering contracting business units, Realcold Industrial, Realcold Mechanical, Millers Mechanical and Realcold Milmech, were merged and our company was renamed as Milmeq.

Our People

People are at the heart of our business, and having the right people with the right attitude is the driving force behind our success.

We have more than 120 staff with a diverse range of skills and expertise, all focused on delivering the highest level of service to our clients.

Our team includes a core group of long serving staff members, who have a sound understanding of the challenges that primary food processors have been exposed to over the past few decades. We also place focus on recruiting and training junior staff, including graduate engineers and apprentices, who bring with them fresh approaches to finding solutions to current and future challenges.

Our senior leadership team is:

Chester Bakkerus

CEO

Dave Debney

Project Operations Manager

Rebecca Mowat

Human Resources Manager

Jacky Hyslop

Health and Safety Manager

Richard Aimers

Design Manager

Partnerships

Milmeq is an agent for the following technology suppliers who provide complimentary equipment which allows us to deliver complete solutions for our clients.

Technology Partner

Starfrost

Starfrost is a UK-based manufacturer of IQF and Spiral tunnels for the chilling and freezing of a range of food products. Milmeq represents Starfrost technology in the Oceania region.

Technology Partner

DSI

DSI is a Denmark company specialising in vertical plate freezers which are used primarily by the seafood industry but also have application for other food products. Milmeq represents DSI technology in the Oceania region.

Careers

As an innovative New Zealand company delivering solutions globally, Milmeq offers a wide range of exciting career opportunities. With offices in Auckland, Dunedin and Brisbane, and clients around the world, a career with Milmeq provides a diverse range of challenges where no two days are the same.

We have a tight-knit team culture; our people enjoy working together to develop innovative, leading edge technologies to meet our clients’ needs. Our smaller size means plenty of opportunity for hands on involvement.

We want our people to be the best they can be, and we offer a number of opportunities for professional development and upskilling to achieve this. We have a culture of celebrating success, and the work of our team is rewarded with competitive remuneration packages including benefits such as medical insurance and an employee assistance programme.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be part of our award-winning team, find out more about current opportunities and how to apply for these below.

Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineer

Progress your engineering career within an innovative product development environment in our Dunedin office.

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Sales Manager

We're looking for a sales manager to join us in either our Dunedin in Auckland office.

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Meat Industry Engineers, Process Designers & Project Managers

We are growing our primary processing capabilities and are on the lookout for some new Dunedin-based team members to help us with this goal.

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Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineer

Dunedin

We have an exciting opportunity for a junior to intermediate-level Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineer to join our product development team in Dunedin. You will be involved in the development of our primary food processing products, from prototyping design and automation, undertaking machine safety analysis, through to engineering delivery on site. You will work under the guidance of the Product Manager and Senior Engineers with sound experience in the protein processing industry.

This is an excellent opportunity for a high calibre candidate wishing to be part of a solid, reputable and go-ahead organisation with innovation at its heart.

Key skills that you will bring to this position will include:

  • Bachelor of Engineering or Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical or Mechatronics) is preferred
  • A preference for 1-2 years of prior engineering work experience, although an outstanding graduate will also be considered
  • Some prior experience using 2D AutoCAD and 3D modelling software, such as Inventor or SolidWorks
  • Practical workshop experience would be advantageous
  • Highly organised and detail focused with an ability to work to deadlines
  • Solutions focused demonstrating initiative and good judgement
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to establish strong working relationships at all levels

Preference will be given to candidates already located in NZ with the right to work here.
Please apply via Seek or send your CV to recruitment@milmeq.com
Please note, if you are a new graduate please provide a copy of your academic transcript with your application.

Sales Manager

New Zealand

We are looking for an experienced Sales Manager, preferably with a track record selling engineering solutions to the New Zealand meat and dairy industry. We are seeking a sales "hunter" to build on the market leading credentials Milmeq has to identify and generate new opportunities that deliver sustainable value to both Milmeq and our clients.

In this position, you will work in partnership with our product specialists to achieve sales growth in our core home market, New Zealand. You will have responsibility for the New Zealand market and leverage other channels to market as part of an international business. Travel throughout New Zealand will be a key part of the role.

As a seasoned technical sales professional, you will possess superior client relationship skills together with a proven ability to generate leads and close sales. You should be able to understand and communicate technical concepts clearly to clients and demonstrate value. At Milmeq, we provide multi-million dollar capital plant equipment to our clients so the ability to nurture the client through a long sales cycle is critical. Well-honed influencing skills along with strong integrity and a delivery focus will also be key success factors for this role.

Apply now to recruitment@milmeq.com or for queries about the role, please contact Rebecca Mowat, HR Manager (+64) 027 807 1533 or Mike Lee, International Sales & Marketing Manager on (+64 021 031 7427).

Meat Industry Engineers, Process Designers & Project Managers

Dunedin

Milmeq is looking to grow its primary processing capability with seasoned Engineers, Designers and Project Managers with prior track record in the meat industry. The Dunedin-based positions will have you working alongside our highly regarded experts leading an exciting range of opportunities from full meat processing designs and installations, value add robotics and processing modules and ongoing upgrade/optimisation projects.

Ideally we are looking for meat industry engineers or project managers to join our team on a permanent basis however we are also open to discussions regarding possible contracting opportunities.

This is an excellent opportunity for a high calibre candidate wishing to be part of a solid, reputable and go-ahead organisation.

We are seeking someone who has:

  • A strong working knowledge of the operational requirements of the meat industry, preferably through direct work experience in the meat industry
  • A background in plant engineering, process design and/or project management (we are looking for both capabilities)
  • The ability to engage credibly with our clients, talk their language and understand their businesses
  • A passion for delivering top of the line solutions to time, budget and performance and for advancing technology within the meat industry

If you are keen for a confidential chat please contact Rebecca Mowat, HR Manager on 027 807 1533 or alternatively, email your details to recruitment@milmeq.com.

To apply for this position, email recruitment@milmeq.com.