Rural farmers are turning into entrepreneurs to weather the storm
A few years back I donated my time, money and resources to an outback town to encourage entrepreneurship. Out of that business incubator, there are a number of businesses that are still developing and will in the years to come, grow into businesses that employ people, create opportunities and sell to the world. I'm very proud to have met the incredible people who put up their hands and were part of this movement where they decided to make a stance against long-term unemployment and the drawn out drought that is still affecting their livelihoods.
Last night I was reminded of a man who took his cattle to the ship to be loaded, only to be told that they would die should they land in Asia as they were too skinny. The stevedore suggested that he took the cows off the boat and shoot them all.
The man took them back to his property, and shot every single cow, then turned the gun on himself.
We look at the world through our own lens, and just before reaching 40, my midlife crisis was to help others. I decided to dedicate my life to helping people in rural Australia, and maybe over time expand that to other parts of the world. I never want to hear of a farmer who doesn't see any way out and thinks that the only solution is to end his life.
So, when Karla Gartshore from Albury met with me last week, I immediately felt privileged to have her in my presence. Four years ago she first launched Nature's Food World baby formulas into the market. She noticed that most baby formula's on the market came from Asia and you can imagine how much ambiguity there is in the ingredients. Here we have all the resources in Australia, and farmers are struggling to survive, and yet we are buying Asian baby formula. It doesn't make sense - certainly not to me.
Buying Australian made and owned products is something that all Australians should be more aware of. It creates jobs and improves our country's overall ability to be sustainable.
Karla has developed a high quality, natural baby formula - one that you can trust. She has extensive experience in the viticulture industry and her plan is to ensure that every single baby that is using formula has the best possible product and nutrients.
With bad publicity surround Bellamby's who are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and the rumour that Blackmores will not be selling baby formula in the future, every parent needs to look at what else is out there. Coles and Woolworths are hard to crack. Paying for shelf space, and being able to sell to them at a price that ensures their profits remain astronomical are hard for any food business. Nature's Food World is certainly giving it a go though and have approached them, but needs Mother's out there that don't want to buy inferior products from Asia and want a formula they can trust, to ask their local Coles, Woolworths, Safeway, Aldi and Costco to stock an Australian owned and made product in Nature's Food World.
We are all responsible for helping the little guys. By supporting our agriculture industry in Australia and not giving all of our produce to overseas countries, we are making the difference to people's lives. We are giving rural communities new industries that will be sustainable for years to come. Maybe your children may one day go and work in Albury for Nature's Food World because it will be the brand of choice.
And if you know anyone in the big stores who makes decisions to have products on their shelves like Nature's Food World's baby formula, please reach out to them. This is important. Getting a quality product that is Australian made on the shelves in our future livelihood of rural communities.