Our regional food and fibre segments, which are mostly family owned and managed, are employing many thousands of Australians across the whole agribusiness chain.
We need to ensure the knowledge gap that exists within our major city population of the critical economic driver from farming is understood and appreciated.
Current world political events are going to place a greater emphasis on Australian owned and grown food.
The integrity of our bio security procedures should be further strengthened to ensure we set the world standard for what we produce and eat in our own country
As we come out of uncertainty in understanding how things might change the way business is conducted in the future. It become even more important to communicate with your staff. They are also uncertain about the future and the more you can clarify your business direction the more they can embrace it and support you.
Don't throw the next generation into the deep end without standing on the side to pull them out if needed.
If you cannot give your family members a chance to take on responsibility and let them make mistakes they will end up in an confused state that only leads to internal family stress.
This a very good reason why next generation family members need to get away from the family business and work outside in a couple of other businesses for a while. Sometimes parents are too protective of their children and tend to keep making decisions for them and never let them have command or control of what they do. They are overly protective and we end up with what I call Golden Children.
On the other hand, some parents are unreasonably tough and cause all sorts of stress and conflict for those on the receiving end. This stress is usually felt most within the next generation's marriage. The daughter-in-law or son-in-law is then is a no-win situation when they protest that their partner is being treated unfairly.
I have seen this in a couple of family businesses where an in-law has complained. They are then persecuted and it's not acceptable. In fact, it is bullying of the very worst kind and the emotional effect is long lasting. Regrettably it has lead to suicide.
Bill Winter is a renowned family and small business advisor and facilitator of the hard to have family succession conversations.