Here is part of David Crombie's speech at this year’s Rabobank leadership awards dinner in Melbourne. He received the Rabobank leadership award.
We're not just Farmers
“I believe agriculture is really important and that it is something that Australia does very well,” he said. “There’s a view out there that ‘oh, I’m just a farmer’. Well, no, we’re not just farmers, Australian farmers are amongst the best food producers in the world.
“We need to be telling and selling the Australian agriculture story, convincing customers about the reliability and traceability of our produce and the ethical production standards behind what we grow.”
“And we’re in the food generation right now. There are expanding populations within our region, but more importantly there is increased purchasing power within an expanding middle class who are prepared to pay for differentiated quality foods. Australia is wonderfully positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. Let’s be proud of what we do, let’s tell our stories and let’s keep getting better at doing it.”
"Our lot feeder industry developed and we slowly recognised the need to adopt Meat Standards Australia benchmarks throughout the supply chain.”
Leadership and change
“A part of good leadership is when circumstances alter, to have the courage to change. As a leader you need be out there in front – you need to articulate with total clarity what is required, you need to equip your team with the necessary skills and, by doing this, you can create opportunities to empower your team to travel where they may not go themselves,” he said. “In that sense, the production paradigm is shifting in agriculture. We are moving from a ‘fair average quality commodity mindset’ producing what we are comfortable with towards delivering the needs of our customers. This customer focus provides clear signals up and down the chain and requires that everyone in the chain be totally engaged and accountable.”