Food manufacturers must look to Asia, says Kraft boss
15/06/2012 - Australian food manufacturers need to ensure they are competitive across the Asia Pacific region, not just nationally, Kraft Foods Australia and New Zealand president Rebecca Dee-Bradbury says.
Dee-Bradbury told an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Sydney on Tuesday that Australian food manufacturers must look outside their own country for business opportunities if they wish to remain competitive in the future.
"I think we need to realise as food manufacturers in Australia the market we compete in is much bigger than Australia," she said.
"I think if we're going to be viable competitors across Asia with its 1.6 billion emerging middle class then we need to get real about what sort of game we're playing and what efficiencies and strengths are needed for manufacturers to succeed in that future."
She said while most retailers were concerned about the effect of falling commodity prices, the high Australian dollar and retail consolidation, there were more pressing long term issues that needed to be addressed.
"While these issues undeniably place pressures on large and small retailers I'm very strongly of the view that in fact there are more fundamental and long-term issues that we should be addressing," she said.
"These fall into four key buckets - productivity, reduced complexity of compliance, brand innovation and retailer individuality."
She said productivity gains needed to be knowledge based and the way to ensure a brand's growth was to be positive about its future.
"I believe that most of the market is in fact in fear - be it consumers waiting for the next global crisis or food companies caught in the mind trap of currency, commodities or retailer pressures," she said.
"The one thing I've learned in the last 20 years of doing transformations is to inspire hope not fear.
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