Meet the Finalists - Hussey and Co.
Hussey & Co, established in 1975 by Jeremy Haw, is a grower, packer and distributor renowned for producing Australia’s finest gourmet baby leaf salad mixes. They maintain their competitive edge through their continual pursuit of excellence in quality, technology and customer service.
This constant strive and practical business philosophy has landed them again, for the second year running, as a finalist in the Excellence in Agribusiness Awards.
All Hussey & Co salads are naturally field grown with production and processing locations in both Victoria and Queensland, allowing the company to supply premium baby leaf salad mixes all year round.
The company has three farms in Gippsland and processing facilities at Pearcedale that produce a range of wholesale and retail packs. These include 1.5kg and 3 kg boxes, retail bags, resealable zip-lock bags, flow wrap punnets and single serve salads.
Last year, Hussey & Co took the crown in the Excellence in Innovation category but this year they are contenders for Excellence in Exporting, sponsored by South Gippsland Shire Council.
Hussey have doubled production in the last five years and their key export customers include Asia’s biggest airlines and all major supermarkets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Hussey also developed a strong presence in food service in Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
The Covid19 pandemic has set worldwide challenges to global supply chains. But Hussey & Co provide a positive case study of how a food & fibre exporter can capitalise on a base of sound production and management systems and proactively pivot in response to those unfolding challenges in a rapidly changing operating environment.
In response to Covid19 at a farm level, Hussey & Co:
- purchased additional farming land and developed enhanced water use efficiency in irrigation systems
- cut energy costs by building a solar farm
- made extensive investments in optical sorting and triple washing product
- reviewed packing materials which allowed new printed boxes to be produced at reduced cost
- enhanced the company’s communication systems so that team members could more effectively monitor real time performance of production systems and be empowered to make immediate decisions to fine tune processes as required
Pre Covid19, Hussey & Co had built a robust marketing strategy around development of three distinct brands with each brand focused on a particular market sector. This gave Hussey & Co the ability to tailor the salad offering in terms of quality, packaging, convenience or price.
When the food service sector collapsed and consumers were requesting smaller pack sizes Hussey & Co were able to capitalise on this investment in export brand diversification by delivering products that met the rapidly changing customer needs.
Hussey & Co’s air freight costs had tripled as a result of Covid19 and the Federal Government International Freight Assistance Mechanism has been critical in the company’s ability to keep exporting high-value, time sensitive and perishable exports.
Jeremy Haw and his team have again impressed the judges of the Excellence in Agribusiness Awards – not only for his incredible business and success but the way he has pivoted and adapted during a very challenging year.
“Within this current challenging operating environment, Hussey & Co continue to explore new opportunities for export, rebuilding food service markets, co-packing salad with high quality proteins, creating new opportunities for on-line sales and responding to Japanese Government programs to encourage eating of more greens. “
The winners of the Excellence in Agribusiness Awards will be announced online, www.foodandfibregippsland.com.au 20th November 2020, 6pm.