Family owned and fast growing
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Tamar Valley Dairy is a family owned and operated company that specialises in the production of pro-biotic yoghurts. The company is located in Tasmania and has a strong local focus, employing Tasmanians, and relying on Tasmanian grown produce for their ingredients. Since being founded in 1996, Tamar Valley Dairy has grown to become one of the market leaders in the territory, and is in fact the only Tasmanian company exporting yoghurt to mainland Australia. They supply both independent supermarkets and the major chains such as Woolworths and Coles, and are well on their way to becoming a market leader nationally.
Guaraci “Archie” Matteo, founder and Managing Director of Tamar Valley, brings a wealth of experience to his role. His exposure to the dairy industry started the moment he was born, as he comes from a long line of cheese makers, going all the way back to his family’s roots in Europe. “My family had cheese factories in Italy,” Archie says. “My father was a cheese maker in Australia, and of course I followed the family trade, even though I tried not to.” When Tamar Valley Dairy began fifteen years ago, the only employees were Archie, his wife and an apprentice. They worked hard, producing a large quantity of yoghurt and cheeses. After a couple of years had passed and the business grew, the company was faced with the challenge of space constraints, and responded by narrowing their product range to concentrate solely on yoghurts.
“We’ve been growing our market for the last 15 years,” says Archie. They have been expanding in what Archie calls “the old fashioned way”, with little focus on marketing or advertising, and more focus on quality. Archie’s hope is that once people taste Tamar Valley’s yoghurt products, they will want to taste them again – a hope that has been continually fulfilled over the company’s history. “It’s just through perseverance and putting our product out there so people could eat it and then request it,” he explains. “Then more and more shops would request our product, and then we’d grow.” Tamar Valley has certainly grown. For the first year, they produced 10 000 litres of yoghurt. These days, their count reaches about 180 tonnes a week and they are currently in the process of constructing new premises that will be capable of producing 200 tonnes of yoghurt per day – and whereas once there were only three people employed under the Tamar Valley banner, there is now 103, with that number still on the rise.
When it comes to their products, Tamar Valley Dairy produces an extensive range of yoghurts. Their styles include Classic, Lite, No Fat, and Greek Style, which have all been developed for all types of needs and preferences. Tamar Valley flavours include Natural, Apricot, Mango, Strawberry, Mixed Berry and Boysenberry. Their natural product range includes no sugars or additives, and all natural ingredients including strains of live yoghurt cultures that help maintain or restore the natural balance in the bowels. These cultures; Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidus and Casei, present other benefits as well. They produce lactic acid which creates an environment that is too acidic to allow disease-causing bacteria to grow, for one, and there is also emerging evidence which shows that some strains of acidophilus may play a role in oral and dental health. On the other side of the coin, they also produce Greek style yoghurt, which is slightly higher in fat and considered more of a gourmet product. That style of yoghurt has proven very successful for the company, and accounts for approximately 80 per cent of their production.
Tamar Valley Dairy differentiates themselves from many of their national competition in two ways. The first, and most important, it is the quality of their product. “We get a lot of reports back about our yoghurt,” says Archie. “It’s more consistent, it’s affordable, and after trying it the customer always comes back.” The second, and less obvious differentiator, is their status as a family company and all that entails. That factor is particularly relevant when it comes to the employee company relationship. “Our employees are all part of the family. Our business is more like a family structure than a company structure,” Archie says. “Our philosophy is to put a good quality product out there that we ourselves would buy. All our employees care about the product, and when they go outside to the supermarket, they make sure the product is facing the right way.” Not only does everybody care, but everybody is involved, and kept in the loop about what is going on. “Even though there are over 96 people, every single person is treated equally and everyone knows what’s happening with the company.” This philosophy truly includes everyone involved in the business, from their managerial team, factory workers, marketing people, quality standards team (who are testing the product every day), and all the way to the people in their product development department.
Product development is also an important part of Tamar Valley’s business, and they have some exciting things in the pipeline as far as yoghurts are concerned. Examples include a 700 gm yoghurt, because customers have continuously required – and demanded – a bigger size. Tamar Valley will also be launching a tube yoghurt for drinking. “Yoghurt will always be our core product because I firmly believe you should make one thing and be very good at it,” Archie says. Tamar Valley Dairy does have other products that are made by other companies, however. They just do not manufacture those products themselves because they want to concentrate solely on the quality of their yoghurt.
Considering the rate at which they are growing, Tamar Valley’s future seems bright. “We keep growing at the same rate roughly per year,” Archie says. That statement held true even during the Global Financial Crisis, which Archie says did not have an impact on Tamar Valley whatsoever. In the near future, when their new building is complete, they will be in possession of the third largest yoghurt-producing manufacturing plant in Australia under one roof. Not only that, but of the top three they will be the only one that is Australian-owned. Archie says that while they are not actively looking to grow any larger after that, they will still be taking it one step at a time and be open to the consistent and steady growth they are currently enjoying. They are still a small company, after all – their long term plans are to simply become national market leaders in the pro-biotic market segment. “As our corporate image grows, and our management grows, there will be more to say in the future,” Archie concludes. “At this point we’re just a small, family owned, fast growing company.”
Source. Business World Australia
WHERE DO I FIND TAMAR YOGHURTS
Tamar Valley Yoghurts are available in most Coles and Woolworths stores and Independant Supermarkets all over Australia.
For locations and what is being sold in Independant stores in your State contact the following. For what is being sold in Coles and Woolworths please contact us direct.
Bremmera Foods 0433410644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bremmera Foods 0419099351 or email@example.com
New South Wales