Grower, Caernarvon Cherry Co, CANOBOLAS NSW
CATEGORY: COMMUNITY AND PEOPLE
Fiona Hall wanted to do more than just be a price taker for her apples and cherries.
Frustrated with rising costs of production and labour, she formed a marketing arm of the family’s orchard business – BiteRiot.
It was a move designed to earn more for the cherries and apples grown on her farm, but Fiona knew she could not go it alone.
Economies of scale meant it made more sense for her to set up an alliance where other growers in the area could also supply under this brand. This meant the brand could supply more product, but business costs such as packaging and transport were lower per unit.
Training is a critical aspect of Fiona’s business, which employs 18 full time staff in the orchard and pack house, and up to 200 people when picking.
The staff induction process is thorough and methodical, covering safe operating procedures. Induction sheets are written in several languages to ensure all staff completely understand.
Fiona uses social media, particularly her Facebook page, to promote BiteRiot and develop brand loyalty for the group’s produce.
She also is keen to learn and participate in the industry she loves, and is currently the president of the Cherry Growers Association of NSW, and is the secretary of her local branch of the NSW Farmers Association.
Fiona has been nominated for the Community and People category, not only for her enthusiasm to build a positive image of Australasian agriculture but also for developing and training employees and creating a great work place culture.