CEO Update Article

The team grows

   Sunday 25th August, 2019

The Food & Fibre Gippsland operations team is growing, as we continue to build our capacity to respond to and embrace the diverse needs and aspirations throughout the sector across Gippsland.

Our Gippsland Connect SME Export Program Manager David Grimmond has definitely hit the ground running, and in his first few weeks has already connected with nine Gippsland businesses who qualify to be part of the program. David is in the process of meeting all of them face to face to so they can understand more about the program and he can understand more about their business.

As an organisation, we are really looking forward to the journey we will be taking with these Gippsland businesses in this program, supporting them in every way we can to achieve their export goals.

The program has capacity for up to 20 businesses, so there's certainly room for more ! If you are already exporting, but would like some support and help to find new markets, look at doing business more efficiently and effectively, as well as perhaps seeking out new markets, then this is the program for you.

If you're just about to embark on exporting, then we'd welcome you into the program and give you plenty of support to maximise your success, or if you've been doing a lot of work to get your business export ready, and you need some help in those final stages, we are definitely equipped to help you as a foundation participant in this project.

Please reach out to Project Manager, David Grimmond if you'd like to join - I can guarantee it'll be a whole lot of fun and hard work, but the potential rewards are huge, both for your business and for the food & fibre sector in Gippsland.

Working across the region
One of the key things that drives Food & Fibre Gippsland and is integral to our success is collaboration, so together with other stakeholders and industry partners, we are working on an important project to unlock barriers to growth in Gippsland.

This project will be part of what drives the future prosperity of the food and fibre sector, helping us to collaboratively understand the ways and means that the sector can achieve its aspirational annual growth target of 5%. We will keep yoou updated as the project progresses.

Connecting with members
As always, I try to get out and about as much as possible to see current and future members.

How inspirational it was to step foot on the grounds of Hussey & Co - one of our members who claimed the Excellence in Innovation Award at the Gala Dinner for the inaugural Excellence in Agribusiness Awards.

We had a fantastic meeting with Jeremy Haw and his team, and it's exciting to see the future they have planned for their horticulture business. Their business principles are nothing short of amazing, with a determined focus and dedication to strategy being key ingredients of their success.

Farming and Forestry
In my travels, I also met with members of the Gippsland Agroforestry Network, specifically David, Frank and Dan, all three being passionate supporters of integrating forestry into every day farming.

Frank has been doing and living it for 40 years, and the proof is on his property in the Strezleckies where he runs a successful fat lamb and cattle breeding operation, coupled with agroforestry where the animals happily graze in and under a strategically planned forest of valuable trees as another source of farm revenue.

Amongst all of that I somehow found a bit of time to actually venture out of Gippsland as well, but only for a few hours, thanks to a kind invitation from Telstra to join them at Marvel Stadium for the Boomers vs USA Basketball game.

We weren't sitting anywhere near the $1500 seats that Russell Crowe complained about - and both Tim Sweeney from the Economic Development Team at Baw Baw Shire Council had a fantastic night. Many thanks to Telstra's Regional General Manager Loretta Willaton for the invitation.

Clear your diary for the 2020 Gala Dinner
And finally just another little note about the Excellence in Agribusiness Awards Gala Dinner - Kate Gunn and Jody O'Brien did a brilliant job, collaboratively working on the Awards program and the Gala event to deliver something special that wowed everyone. I know they've already started planning for 2020 and with their creative talent and intuitive vision, you can bet it's going to be even better again.

My advice, block out Friday the 14th of August, 2020 now for next year's Gala event - you won't want to miss it !

Until next week.