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Smallgoods is big business at D’Orsogna
HAVING referred last month to retiring D’Orsogna Managing Director Brad Thoma- son, the time is right to write a little about his replacement at the helm of the iconic WA head-quartered small- goods company, now positioned as a signifi- cant operator on the east coast after 70 years building a reputation for product excellence and corporate integrity.
D’Orsogna Managing Director Greig Smith joined the company in 2018 after four years as Chief Operating Officer with Milne Agrigroup, well known for its brand- ed product Mt Barker Chicken.
Before that he was Gen- eral Manager, Operations, WA, for seven years with Inghams, which followed three years as Inghams Farming Manager in NSW.
Born and raised in South Africa, he graduat- ed with a BSc in Animal Science from the Univer- sity of Natal.
Relocating to Zimba- bwe in 1991 to work for Agrifoods Animal feeds, he was promoted to Man- aging Director of the Vet- erinary Supply business in 1999, then to Chief Executive Officer of the Agricultural Division of Consolidated Farming Investments in 2003.
Greig, his wife and fam- ily moved to Australia in early 2005.
Watching Greig from a distance for a while, before working along- side him to assist with the official opening of D’Orsogna’s marvellous $66 million Mickelham facility at Merrifield Business Park, north of Melbourne, I was im- pressed by how selfless and humble he is and how this impacts so positively on the 700 or so people who work for him and how he interacts seam- lessly with the Board and D’Orsogna family he works for.
Successfully and profit- ably managing any family
business, especially one involved in such a cut- throat industry as food manufacturing, where margins can be small and big supermarkets have a lot of say, requires some- one with the capacity to understand the politics but not play them.
Greig Smith seems to be that person.
And he’s something of a breath of fresh air in an industry sector in some- times populated at the top level by those hellbent on promoting themselves over their product.
When that happens judgement can fly out the door with profits.
Management needs to be measured, just like success.
Greig’s concluding remarks at the offi- cial opening, after City of Hume Mayor Carly Moore had said her bit, open a window into how he thinks and the way he’ll operate within the big smallgoods world.
“I acknowledge and appreciate the City of Hume’s contribution to the development of Mer- rifield Business Park and how much you have helped and welcomed your newest resident, D’Orsogna.
“Be assured that D’Orsogna will be a fine upstanding citizen.
“As you’ve heard ear- lier from our Chairman Tony Iannello and fellow board member Marco D’Orsogna, the com- pany is a well-respected 70-year-old family busi- ness that has always been a responsible corporate citizen.
“D’Orsogna gives to the community in which it
resides and works.
“On that note, I now
want to say a very big thank you to everyone who has been involved in this very significant project.
“As it can be risky to name names and I pride myself on due diligence and risk assessment, I won’t to do this now, oth- er than to acknowledge my predecessor as MD of D’Orsogna, that is Brad
Thomason, who most of you will know was a ma- jor driver of this project.
“Brad sends his best wishes from Europe where he’s now enjoying a well-deserved holiday.
“You all know who you are, so on behalf of D’Orsogna’s, Board, our Executive team, our em- ployees and our valued suppliers and customers, thank you so much for sharing our vision.
“That vision is now a reality, so it’s now down tobusiness.”
Having succeeded a pragmatist, Greig will now confidently go about making his own mark on Melbourne and beyond, while future proofing one of the Aus- tralian food industry’s truly great family busi- nesses.
Enough said.
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D’Orsogna Managing Director, Greig Smith.
Australian Pork Newspaper, September 2019 – Page 5

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