It is always a pleasure to hear Barry Irvine present and last Tuesday was no exception when he gave the JR Vickery address at the recent “Future of Food” Convention in Sydney held by the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
When Barry took over as Chairman of Bega Cheese around the turn of the century, the business had a capitalisation of a little over $1 million dollars. When he undertook a review of what competitive advantage the company had, he recalls that the conclusion was that it had none, so he had no alternative but to set about creating one.
How effective has Barry and his team been! Bega Cheese has grown in less than 20 years to having a capitalisation of over $1 billion and now is one of Australia’s most successful food businesses. Barry claims that an important ingredient of success is his belief that whenever you sit across the table from someone whether he be a colleague, a customer, or a competitor, you should display good manners and make him comfortable. The result is that he will tell you the truth, tell you his dreams and tell you his fears, all of which are invaluable ingredients to your own success.
When asked about the future of the Australian Dairy Industry Barry’s focus is not so much on the future of farming or the future of manufacturing, but on customers, their changing demands and how the march of technology is changing how their demands are met. Your success according to Barry, will be related to your ability to identify and enact upon the opportunities and the threats presented by such disruptive changes.
Brett Price, Principal and Sales Director of Agricultural Appointments