CEO Update Article

Seeing Innovation and Collaboration at work

   Monday 2nd September, 2019

Growth Targets

Innovation and collaboration are two of the key principles that drive Food & Fibre Gippsland, and for our region along with agribusinesses right across Australia to achieve ambitious growth targets by 2030, being innovative and collaborative is, and will continue to be a vital part of the recipe for success.

I spoke recently with one of the team who has created Provenir, a mobile abattoir that offers a processing alternative for meat livestock farmers with highest welfare, mobile on-farm processing, eliminating the stress involved in transporting livestock by bringing the abattoir to the farm.

Already operating with a selection of farmers across New South Wales, Provenir is keen to spread their reach to Victoria, and this could well be a welcome and very attractive solution for a number of our region's producers of beef, lamb and pork. We are following them with great interest and see collaboration potential for us to help them connect with their target market in this part of Victoria.

And on a similar topic, I was listening to ABC Radio on the way home a few days ago and there was a fantastic story about a free range pig farm in Dubbo called Extraordinary Pork that has also developed their own mobile abattoir, to maximise the quality of their product and minimise the stress on the animals.

Whilst Provenir is evidently on a much bigger scale, both businesses are using innovation to make a difference to animal welfare, which ultimately results in a premium quality end product that in turn, creates greater demand, and ultimately market growth. A winning approach for everyone involved, from the animal right through to the consumer.

Common Workforce Planning issues

Our Strategic Workforce Planning Masterclass course that concluded in Traralgon last week was very successful, with all participants indicating that they found the content very helpful, a number of them saying that they had nothing like it in place in their businesses. As they networked and shared stories with each other, there was definitely comfort in the knowledge that they were all sharing similar, if not the same issues, as the person sitting next to them.

Forums like this are a reminder of the power of engagement, and how being part of an organisation like Food & Fibre Gippsland can help in so many ways. More often than not, the problems that are too big for one business to solve on their own, when addressed in a group, can be broken down into digestible pieces and tackled together, with clever solutions and options devised that can then benefit everyone.

The enthusiasm at the conclusion of the 2nd day was infectious, with everyone keen to get back to their own workplaces and share their understanding of the strategic workforce planning process, and start putting it into practice. We're looking forward to checking in with the course graduates over the coming months and seasons to understand how this new knowledge is helping their business.

An afternoon in the Hothouse

It was great to spend some time at Flavorite Tomatoes last week - what an impressive 32 hectares of hothouses their operation is !

From a cottage industry to a major supplier to Australian supermarkets, they are a Gippsland success story that continues to expand.embracing technology at every turn to maximise the efficiency of their operation.

Having had the opportunity to taste a few of their many varieties of tomatoes, that had been freshly picked that morning, I can personally vouch for the quality and taste of the product - it was delicious.

We've only just scratched the surface with the stories from our Excellence in Agribusiness Winners, there are lots more to come as we spread the word far and wide about the diversity and personalities in the food & fibre sector across the region.

Global Table

This week sees some of the team, myself included, travel to Melbourne to attend some of the sessions at Global Table. This event is set to provide some incredible insights into how individuals, businesses and countries are tackling some of the world’s biggest food challenges, and with a big representation of leading international and Australian thought leaders, scientists, subject matter experts, entrepreneurs, producers and academics, as guest and keynote speakers, it’s going to be huge.

Until next week