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Tom Harvey, Chalk Hill, SA
Name: Tom Harvey
Industry collaboration the key to success
As the Chalk Hill sales and marketing manager, Harvey is involved in projects at the McLaren Vale winery that seek to benefit the wine industry as a whole. Meet
Your Maker is one such program where influential trade identities are invited to McLaren Vale to learn more about the region, its food and wine and, subsequently, promote it.
Harvey was encouraged to apply for this year's leadership program by one of the inaugural participants and Oliver's Taranga winemaker Corrina Rayment.
'Corrina's experience in the program was a really positive one and it got me interested,' he said.
'Because I had been out of the industry for about 10 years I saw Future Leaders as a way to get my knowledge and skill set up a bit.'
Rayment is now Harvey's 'buddy' in the program and acts as a mentor to help him through the extra work it creates.
Harvey is aware that if the industry is to adapt to global business pressures, solidarity can help achieve the best results. He says the programs drivers
(Winemakers' Federation of Australia [WFA], Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation [AWBC], Grape and Wine Research and Development Centre and Wine Grape Growers' Australia [WGGA]) are seeking information exchange, especially between generations.
'This knowledge is a great asset but the organisers recognise that the information transfer will not happen unless there is a system put into place, and I think Future Leaders can help with that,' he said.
Harvey says another aspect of developing networks is that the stakeholders want inter-regional communication as well as information transfer within wine regions.
'They (the organisers) have identified that one of the greatest assets is the collaboration that occurs between winemakers, grapegrowers and anyone along the value chain,' Harvey said. 'And this could be at risk when there is a degree of corporatisation in the industry and people are becoming a little more self reliant - they can solve more problems in-house. For example if a large winery has a problem with an issue confronting it, the company may choose to use a consultant rather than ring their mate down the road. So if you are a one man, or two man band, this information exchange could really be at risk.'
Harvey says the Meet Your Maker program is an example of successful communication because it involves individuals working for the collective rather than for themselves.
With Australia now competing against other New World countries for market share on the world's wine shelves Harvey says it us crucial for people in the wine industry to pull together. According to Harvey, Brand Australia needs to be promoted first and then that promotion should filter down to a State and regional level from there.
'I think it is this type of collaboration that is really waning,' he said. 'It's certainly not as good as it could be. It should be a seamless link that everyone within a particular region, for example, is doing their best to promote that region.'
Harvey says this does not seem to be happening as much as it potentially could.
The future leaders program kicked off in Adelaide on 13 August and Harvey says it provided an opportunity for industry stakeholders to highlight their criteria for the successful 2007 applicants. It was pointed out to participants that they played
an important role in the industry's future and that this should not be taken lightly.
'It really impressed upon me the responsibility to involve myself in such a way that is of the most benefit to wine industry,' he said.
Before moving back to Chalk Hill Harvey spent five years with hardware giant Bunnings, holding various roles including marketing manager and then state manager for South Australia. Bunnings in SA boasts around 800 employees and one of Harvey's five years with the business was located in Perth where he helped with a corporate restructure of a subsidiary organisation. Prior to that Harvey worked as a policy advisor to former SA Premier John Olsen. Harvey's wine industry experience includes six vintages in Australia and Oregon,
United States, he has a wine marketing degree from the University of Adelaide and a bachelor of business from the University of South Australia.
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