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Published 30 August 2012 04:19, Updated 30 August 2012 05:01
When William Scott , pictured, and three partners started Aussie Farmers Direct in 2005 they had a simple business proposition: that busy consumers would welcome home deliveries of bread, milk, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. But there was more to the venture. Underpinning the business plan was the belief that consumers wanted to support local farmers and their communities. Aussie Farmers Direct sells only Australian-grown and locally made products. “Our customers are looking for quality, affordability and convenience but they also have a genuine respect for Australian farmers,” says Scott, the company’s chairman. “They care about where their food comes from.” From just 30 customers in its first year, it now has a national customer base of 130,000 households, a 200-strong range of products and 2012 revenue of $154 million. In 2010, Aussie Farmers became a producer in its own right when it established Aussie Farmers Dairy in Camperdown in Victoria. The company expects to create 100 jobs by 2015. As well as supporting communities by selling their produce, the Aussie Farmers Foundation backs various programs aimed at improving health and wellbeing in rural and regional communities. The foundation donated $250,000 in 2011. One program sends volunteer retired teachers to remote farms to help children with their education. Customers can also nominate 2 per cent of their weekly grocery bill with Aussie Farmers Direct to go to local schools, sporting clubs and community groups of their choice.