“You’ll find everything you need in the regions, cheap land, infrastructure, staff and the raw materials. If you want to go looking for opportunities, go west into the gold rush.” ~ Ian Henderson, Lirah Vinegar
These are the words of Ian Henderson, the man who, in the space of just 12 years, has turned his vinegar-making business from a one-barrel operation in a shed into a global exporter with a new $5 million factory.
Henderson points out that there are many benefits to living and running a business in a regional area, not least the lower housing and property prices. He leveraged this lifestyle bonus in job advertisments and easily attracted a team of highly qualified graduate employees.
“I have clinical pathologists, one of my vinegar makers has a master’s degree in electrical engineering, we have medical bio-technologists, we have honours chemists, we have physics and maths grads. All of my staff, largely gen Y’s, every single one of them owns a home, nobody rents.”
This is in stark contrast to the situation in the city where businesses often operate in less-than-optimal conditions and many young people feel priced-out of the housing market.
Mr Henderson would like to see more of the flourishing food production industry move out of cities and into rural areas, as he says interesting jobs are the only thing sometimes lacking in rural life.
With his business going from strength to strength, Mr Henderson wants to share the love with other producers, in what he sees as a win-win for both companies and regional areas.
Re-post ~ High-tech vinegar a success story of the new bush ‘gold rush’ by Phillipa Courtney on ABC News
Website ~ Lirah Vinegar