Andrew (András) Lederer (Léderer)
|First name||Andrew (András)|
|Last name||Lederer (Léderer)|
|Country of Origin||HUNGARY|
|Date of Birth||24/08/18|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1957|
|Submitted by||Attila Urmenyhazi|
Story of preeminent businessman Andrew Lederer OAM (1918- 2004)
Andrew Lederer was born and grew up in Poroszló (Central-East Hungary) where his father owned vast property, and an abattoir as well as involved in horse trading. The affluent family’s son Andrew had a conservative upbringing. With the outbreak of WW2 he was drafted to the cavalry and saw action first hand in Russia, at the battle of River Don\’s great river bend area where the Hungarian 2nd Army was holding the Southern flank of the Nazi German grand army prior to their fall in Stalingrad and the collapse of the entire war front. Miraculously he was the sole survivor in his 230 strong unit to witness its total wipe out in -40˚ to -43˚ temperatures, alongside tens of thousands fallen in that Hungarian military disaster. With the post-war Soviet occupation of Hungary, a gradual loss of freedoms and brutal communism arrived to cause loss of all Lederer family interests and businesses.
The downfall of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 fought for freedom made him and his wife Agnes decide to defect to Austria to become refugees under UN’s IRO care. They opted for Australia.
The Lederers arrived in Sydney to start a totally new chapter in their life. Andrew is on record saying how very hard were their first years as raw migrants not speaking English. They were unable to communicate, had no friends and had to get used to a new life, new culture and learn a new language, all difficult challenges to be met. Nevertheless, he aimed for success and falling back to his butcher’s trade, within 10 months, owned and operated his own butcher shop. At the beginning Andrew worked on his own, cutting up carcasses of slaughtered animals to prepare special meat cuts, sausages, smoked ham and salami not for sale direct to the public but to a network of other butcher shops. The distinct flavour of his cured and smoked delicatessen products i.e. hams and Hungarian salamis, the wide use of traditional authentic recipes with paprika seasoning became very popular. Relatively early, Andrew Lederer enjoyed business success but in a steady and measured way. This was also due to his foremost wish to modernize with the latest high tech. production facilities, cater for the ethnic taste and also to promote his novelty items of tasty continental smallgoods among adventurous and connoisseur alike Australians. He employed skilled ethnics: Spaniards for his Spanish hams, Italians for his Italian range salamis and manufactured meat, Germans, Austrians and Hungarians for his special frankfurts and continental sausages.
Andrew Lederer gradually and steadily started his empire building block by block by buying up butcher shops in his area and in neighbouring suburbs. Brand name ‘ Primo’ meaning ‘quality’ was launched in 1985 when his enterprise Primo Smallgoods counted 38 employees and started operating a meat manufacturing facility in Homebush, Sydney.
From then on this Australia’s largest meat and smallgoods manufacturing firm started to supply (and to continue on for decades) the Coles Supermarkets chains with special meat cuts, deli items, pork, bacon, sausages, salami, etc. One big coup his Company made was the sale of their extensive land at Homebush Abattoirs for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. This alone posted a $100 million dollars revenue, yet the humble man only then, for the first time in his life, bought his first luxury car, a new black limousine Mercedes Benz. Even then he kept telling apologetically that it was important how he arrives to meetings as head of a giant corporation. Andrew was a specialist/expert in all matters concerning horses and equine sport. Each Saturday afternoon he intensely pursued his two passions: horse riding followed by socializing in a close friends circle around a playing-card table. For his outstanding help to Australian sport with his philanthropy, benefactor Andrew Lederer was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1985.
Andrew passed away on 21 April 2004. The grateful ex-migrant was a diligent worker and an astute businessman who never overextended himself, yet a wise entrepreneur. Currently his legacy, the giant Australian meat processor Primo shareholding company is in its 36th year, has in excess of 2000 employees and is majority owned and run by Andrew Lederer\’s nephew Paul Lederer who follows his uncle’s successful footsteps catering for an ever demanding market.
Submitted by Attila Ürményházi
17 January 2011