OUR REGIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

CRAIG GARVIN
CRAIG GARVIN

REGIONAL CEO
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What are the key responsibilities that come with being the CEO?

I think the most important role any CEO plays is leading people – creating a vision, and getting everybody to buy into it. It doesn't matter whether they work on the factory floor, or they’re a senior manager - everybody needs to be on the same page. It’s about alignment of purpose.


How do you define success?

Success to me is engagement, achievement, quality, consistency - it’s constant improvement – being better this year than we were last year, across a whole range of key performance indicators. The point I’d like to stress - it’s more than results. At Parmalat, we talk about results x behavior. That’s what drives sustainability. We have three very clear values – Simplicity, Ambition and Engagement. If our people are living and breathing those values, I think we will continue to be successful. But buy in comes from chatting with, not preaching to.


The retail market in Australia isn't exactly a walk in the park – how do you keep people motivated in challenging times?

Winning helps, and we are winning – that’s the first point. They might be small wins - “hard ball gets” to coin a footy phrase, but that’s what makes them worthwhile. Beyond that, I think the key is to focus on what you can control, as opposed to worrying and getting frustrated by events and circumstances beyond your centre of influence. The other point is simply enjoying what you do. Working hard, yes, but having fun, and that comes from achieving and from the interactions you have with the people around you – your relationships and friendships. We all spend a lot of time at work – we might as well enjoy it.


Have you thought about the legacy you’d like to leave?

Not really. It would be something around building Parmalat’s reputation as a high achieving, high integrity organization, where anybody with the right mindset could reach their potential, where they could learn and grow, but still understand that no individual was more important than the team.
CRAIG GARVIN
ROD WALDEN
ROD WALDEN

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
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The company’s most experienced executive - you’ve been working at Parmalat now for in excess of 35 years – you must like the place?!

Love it! Born to a milkman, my first job at the age was 11 was a milk run, I went to Uni, studied, and since then, I’ve been working for a Milk company. Or at least that’s what it was when I joined. It’s a lot bigger than that now.


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Dairy is a healthy product, an ethical product. Not like cigarettes or gaming or alcohol. It contributes to our health and wellbeing – 99.9% of the population recognizes this as fact. Being part of an industry that is so well regarded, that plays a part in so many people’s lives – I think that’s worth celebrating.


You must have witnessed some dramatic changes over such a lengthy period?

Virtually nothing today bears any resemblance to what it was like when I joined in 1979. It’s a completely different business. But I’d say the most significant change is the global footprint Parmalat now enjoys. When I started, we were a regional business with national aspirations. A turnover of $300 million. Now we’re part of Global powerhouse, with dairy operations in more than 50 countries, a turnover of $18 billion.


What are some of the benefits of that ownership structure?

Security, financial strength, knowledge and experience, shared intelligence, cultural exchange, opportunities for growth, both from a business and an individual perspective – the list is endless. In the past few years alone, for instance, we have acquired Harvey Fresh in Western Australia, and Longwarry Milk and Jindi cheese in Victoria. This could not have been achieved without the support of our parent company.
ROD WALDEN
ANGELA BURR

GENERAL MANAGER MARKETING
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As a relative newcomer to Parmalat, what have been your general observations? How for instance does it differ from other companies that you’ve worked for?

Well, in answer to the first part of the question, culturally it’s definitely exceeded my expectations. It’s an exciting place to work. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit within the business that I’ve never before encountered. People are encouraged to think outside the box, to back their judgment and take calculated risks. It makes for a very positive and energetic environment. As far as what makes it different - probably just the sense of fun. It’s very a very “uncorporate” corporate environment, if that makes sense. There’s no time or room for political games.


The explosion of social media over the past five to 10 years – that must have made your life as a marketer interesting?

It sure has! It's presented some challenges but on the flip side, so many opportunities that at times, it’s been hard to know where to start! In years gone by, marketing was all about pushing a message. Today it’s about conversations and interaction. Through all the social media channels, there’s a genuine opportunity to connect with consumers – not only understand what they like and don’t like – but why. Their beliefs and attitudes. Having access to such rich information – in real time - allows us to better understand the emerging trends. The other key difference for me is the importance now of agility – being able and prepared to act quickly. The world is moving at such a pace there’s no time to sit around in “committees”, pondering whether something will or won’t work. You have to act, which is where backing your instinct comes into play.


That’s the new world externally – what about internally? Has social media changed the way you interact with your peers? Even across other functions within the business?

It’s certainly helped people feel more connected. Within the marketing team for instance, we use “What’s App” to share images and information, war stories, successes, even red flags. That all contributes to a sense of “team”, as well aiding the agility piece. I think the other beauty from a leadership perspective is being able to share more of yourself with your team. Every now and then for instance, posting a photo of what you’re doing with your kids on the weekend. I think that helps break down barriers, because it’s not an email or a 20-slide powerpoint deck relating to work. It’s just people being real people.


How important is recruitment? What do you look for in team members?

I’m incredibly careful as to whom I bring into the business. The culture at Parmalat is precious – we all have an obligation to protect it. The key for me is striking a balance between technical excellence and personality. Excellence is a given, because if they’re not smart, it’s unlikely they are going to be able to step up to the plate and contribute to the team, Then nobody wins. But beyond that – recruiting the right style of person is critical. Anybody we think might have a propensity for rocking the boat or playing political games simply doesn't get a look in!


NIGEL ULRICH
NIGEL ULRICH

GENERAL MANAGER | LEGAL
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Another long term staffer, how did you find your way into the business?

I actually joined Pauls - as it was then - as an accountant, working in the company’s hotel division in the Northern Territory. There’s been a lot of changes since then – Pauls quickly got out of hotels, and I pretty quickly got out of accountancy to study law!


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Very positive, engaged, forward thinking, an organization that empowers it’s people to make decisions. There’s support at the higher level, hopefully without micro-management.


In your role, you must need to have a broad understanding of the business?

I do. And that ties in with the best piece of management advice I’ve ever received. I was told very early on in my career – you can't properly manage a business unless you know what the hell it does. The point being, the better you understand how a business works - how all the key functions fit together – the more informed the decisions you can make. So walk around, talk to people about what they do, beyond a superficial level. Understanding the key business drivers is essential.


People or task – what’s more important?

People. Unless you’ve got good people, the task will never get done.


A busy, high pressure job, how do you keep your life in balance?

For me, exercise is a priority – I’m a keen cyclist, and after you’ve ridden 120kms, including up a few mountains, you’re too exhausted to think or worry about anything to do with work! I admit – in this modern day age of connectivity and accessibility, it can be a real trap for senior executives. You can become completely immersed in work, if you allow yourself. Fortunately, the culture at Parmalat steers people away from that singular focus. Productivity is important, but activity for activity’s sake is not.
NIGEL ULRICH
RON GRANTHAM
RON GRANTHAM

GENERAL MANAGER INDUSTRIAL
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What are the specific challenges that come with manufacturing dairy products?

Probably more than anything else, the time frame and the complexity. We are dealing with a milk supply seven days a week, 365 days a year, making products with a very short shelf life, and servicing markets both domestic and international. There’s no time to get it wrong. There’s always pressure - meeting customer demands, and making sure products are fresh and of the highest quality, irrespective of whether it’s raining, hailing or shining.


You have a large team, spread across a lot of different manufacturing sites. How do you go about leading them?

I try to stay very positive. A good attitude is essential. It's important too, to recognize that everybody is trying to do the best they can. We’re human. We don't always get everything right, but in the same breath, nobody turns up to work intending to do a crappy job. They want to do well. My main responsibility is to provide an environment where they can do their best, where they can learn and grow, and develop a true sense of achievement.


More broadly, what appeals to you about working for Parmalat?

In a nutshell, great people, great culture, great brands. Brands that contribute to people’s health and well being. They’re real, they’re locally made. These days, we source a lot of “stuff” from China. We are never going to source fresh milk from China.


Outside of work, what do you do to unwind?

Family is very important. I still play seniors footy in winter – nothing serious, just a gallop around. I’m also a passionate St Kilda supporter.


Sorry to hear that!

Yes – it’s taught me to endure. But the occasional sweet moment – they taste even sweeter! I think we can learn a lot from sport and team environments. Pretty well everything that happens in a dressing shed happens in a business environment as well.
RON GRANTHAM
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
PASCAL FRANCISQUE

GENERAL MANAGER YOGURTS & DESSERTS
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What do you find most exciting about the opportunity to lead the Yogurts & Desserts Division?

I’m most excited to work with a cross functional team to continue to drive excellence in our fantastic brands like Vaalia, Tamar Valley and Farm House Gold. Y&D is a highly competitive channel, and we plan to make a greater impact on the channel by growing market share and launching new products. We see exciting times ahead for the Division.


You started your career in Australia running the Cheese division. What was your proudest achievement for that business?

We introduced and established our global brands, President and Galbani in the Australian market. These were exciting achievements for us especially increasing Lactalis’ global footprint “down-under”. The fact that these products are made locally is a memorable milestone. Furthermore, we managed to nearly double our employee engagement result in just 2 years. This had an immediate positive result in terms of team member wellbeing, commitment and ownership across the Division and also saw improvement in our Financial results.


In your opinion, why is Employee Engagement important?

Our work place is where we spend a significant amount of time. To make the most of this experience, the better employees feel about their workplace and the company they work for, the greater the contributions they will make to the overall performance of the business. Without it, we can’t build a long term, sustainable success story.


Parmalat Australia clearly supports career rotations and career paths. You are a great example! What advice would you give to someone just starting their career with the company?

Starting my career as Sales Rep and now in charge of the Yogurts & Dessert business in Australia, means that we all have the opportunity to grow with Lactalis/Parmalat if we are committed to its success and embrace its Values 100%! My advice would be to make the most of every opportunity, continue to grow and challenge yourself to go beyond where you think you can go. Strive to gain knowledge and a strong understanding of the industry and the business. Recognise that boundaries are useful for navigation but limitations will hold you back.
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
VINCE HOULIHAN
VINCE HOULIHAN

GENERAL MANAGER | SUPPLY CHAIN
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You’ve been in part of the company for almost 30 years – what’s kept you there for that length of time?

An organization that takes milk from a farm, converts it into drinking products, yoghurt, cheese, desserts, and then delivers it into the hands of consumers – it’s an incredibly interesting business. I’ve spent my entire career, exploring how it works. And every time I think I know all there is to know… guess what? – I’ll discover something completely new!


You're regarded as walking talking Dairy encyclopedia. Hit us with some Cow trivia.

OK. The average cow produces around 30 litres of milk a day – but only for 250 to 280 days a year. So that’s around 5000 to 6000 litres of milk a year. A bit more when they first calve.


Who’s the better business partner – the farmers or the cows?

What I’d like to say about the farmers – they are genuinely passionate about what they do - their animals and the process of farming. It’s a tough game – not for the faint hearted, but we work closely with them to ensure the best possible result for all parties.


Do you have a favourite management philosophy?

I’ve really come to appreciate there’s more creativity in any team than there is in any individual. You can be the smartest person in the room, but you're never going to be smarter than the whole group. The key as a leader is harnessing that team effort and knowledge, to get the best possible outcome. The other key for me is finding time to switch off. To have some down time when you’re not thinking about work. It’s getting harder and harder on account of technology but we all need to find ways. We need to be disciplined.
VINCE HOULIHAN
RICCARDO PIAGGI
RICCARDO PIAGGI

GENERAL MANAGER | HUMAN RESOURCES
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You’ve been working with Parmalat in Italy for more than a decade, but in Australia only since 2014. What are your observations about Australian business culture?

I find it very open. People are warm and friendly. I think mostly very positive. Other than that, I’m convinced that working with people – investing in human capital - is the same the world over. You need to engage people, provide them with a sense of belonging, motivate them, and not overwhelm them with complicated systems and processes.


How important is communication in that process?

Communication is a key pillar in any successful business. Communicate poorly and you create huge problems. Communicate well and you create opportunities. It is important to have the same thinking cascading down through the organization and that’s not possible without effective communication – disseminating the right message, through the right channels at the right time.


Have you embraced Australia’s proud sporting culture since you’ve been in Australia? Will we see you, for instance in Bay 13 on December 26, beer in hand, watching the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG?

I don't know that much about cricket. But I support all the Football teams we sponsor. The Penrith Panthers, Port Adelaide Football Club and the Brisbane Roar. I have plenty of teams to cheer.


If Parmalat changes it’s allegiance – if they take on new sponsorships - will you support those teams instead!?

Of course. Whomever we support, I will support! I am very passionate and also very loyal to my favourite Italians team only!
RICCARDO PIAGGI
MAL CARSELDINE

GENERAL MANAGER LIQUIDS
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Rumor has it that sometime in an earlier life you were selling computer systems in Bulgaria. Is that true?

Yep– good research! Straight out of Uni actually, I was part of an exchange program where you were dispatched to far away places in the world – I finished up in Bulgaria. I was there for six months.


Did you sell many computer systems?

Very few as a matter of fact! It was a bit of stretch, not being able to speak the language. What was worse, Bulgaria’s one of the few places where the nodding of the head actually means “no”. It took me most of my time over there to work that out! No wonder I had limited success.


What if anything did you learn from your world travels that you’re now applying to your career with Parmalat.

I think to be curious. See, watch and learn. Also the value of getting out of your comfort zone. I spent a lot of time backpacking around Central & South America which was a bit hairy at times. But being out of your comfort zone is where you learn the most and create your best memories.


What do you enjoy about working for Parmalat?

I love the Dairy industry for starters. There are so many nuances that have to be taken into account before you can arrive at the correct commercial decision. Parmalat specific - you have permission to make change. In fact it’s expected. Across the business, we are all challenging ourselves with the same question: is there a better way of doing things?


And that’s what you try and instill in your team?

Absolutely. It links back to curiosity. Keep your eyes and ears open. There are good ideas and opportunities everywhere!

JENNI BOOTH

GENERAL MANAGER CUSTOMER
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You have recently had a few cross functional moves, Marketing into Customer Marketing and more recently Customer Marketing into Customer. How has that experience been?

I have been fortunate to be able to move roles cross-functionally within Parmalat giving me broader exposure to different parts of the organisation. I thoroughly enjoy learning new skills and I love to challenge myself to achieve more than I did the day before. Managing teams of people throughout the past few years has been one the most rewarding aspect of my roles, seeing people grow and develop is outstanding.

So Parmalat supports self-directed careers?

Yes, I have had an active Individual Development Plan in place for several years now and it is a great platform to be able to document not our your areas for development but what direction you wish to move in within your career.

Tell us about the challenges of the competitive environment Parmalat Australia operates in? Are you winning?

Yes! We operate within highly competitive environment but that is what keeps it interesting. We have an amazing portfolio of market leading brands and importantly we invest in innovation to ensure that we are keeping up with the ever-changing shopper and consumer landscape.

As a manager, what qualities do you look for in team members?

People with positive energy because it is this quality that brings other people together and has the ability to create momentum and ground swell behind ideas. Importantly I also want my team members to be entrepreneurial in their thinking, with a clear ability to take risks and learn from mistakes, ensuring a process of constant improvement.

The team piece is important?

Hell yes! They can have all the other qualities, but they need to demonstrate a willingness to participate, to add value, to engage in a positive manner. Passion and positive energy is essential, because it’s contagious.

What has experience taught you?

Just have a go. Take risks. There’s little merit in simply replicating what everybody else is doing. Try different stuff, without fear that it’s not perfect. Take the learnings and let the idea evolve. Because one thing for sure - if you’re aiming for perfection – you’re destined for disappointment!

JEROME LOETITIA

GENERAL MANAGER INTERNATIONAL
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You’ve worked in the international dairy market for over 15 years. Tell us what keeps you interested in this space?

The global market is always evolving - that’s why it’s so exciting! Working in an Export area gives you access to different cultures, history, languages and food as well. Travelling, meeting our customers/distributors but also our consumers is always an enriching experience. I’ve been managing different territories and they are uniquely different from each other and each time it’s a new discovery and challenge. There are many opportunities to grow our export business and this is a promising future for us.


You’ve been described as having advanced knowledge of the Asian regional market. Tell us about some of the opportunities and challenges facing the Asian dairy industry

Consumption per capita is far below our standards (Australia/Europe) so obviously there is much space to investigate in order to grow our footprint and business with this key region.

The Asian region is growing quickly in both population and GDP so that clearly presents a world of opportunities for a company like Parmalat. The Asian market is often perceived as primarily China (which is the big one for sure!) however so many other countries in this region have a strong potential (human + economical) and could represent opportunities for our future growth (Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Singapore to name a few). On top of that the Aussie image around Dairy is really positive (safe, ethical, good expertise) and Pauls has been a solid brand in this region for decades in territories such as Hong Kong (50 years!!), Singapore or Papua New Guinea. With all our assets combined we are able to meet the expectations of each of the Asian/Pacific markets and that’s a key priority for the company.


As a citizen of the world, you’ve lived in some pretty curious places. How does life in Australia measure up?

I’ve lived mainly in France and in the Reunion island (close to South Africa) which was definitely a fantastic experience. Now living in Australia is another experience, very different from the “old Europe” (the country is so huge!!!) with Melbourne being so multicultural, it’s like a world in itself with lots of communities living together peacefully. The Aussies are warm people, always positive and optimistic which is truly refreshing.


What do you enjoy most about the workplace culture at Parmalat Australia?

I like the atmosphere, team spirit and our commitment to achieving for each other and the company. We are always ready to face any challenge! And let’s not forget, the Aussie accent is, of course, part of it. 🙂
TERRY JOHNSTON

GENERAL MANAGER FOOD SERVICE
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Terry Johnston, or TJ for short. Being a kiwi (we won’t hold that against you!), do you find it annoying or nicely familiar that Aussies have a tendency to abbreviate everything?

I don’t find it annoying at all. I moved over to Australia 15 years ago and my work mates very quickly started calling me TJ and it has stuck ever since. Now as a matter of fact most of my Kiwi friends call me TJ. The Aussie spirit is great and being a Kiwi I have had my share of feedback over the years. I have particularly enjoyed talking about Rugby with my Aussie friends.


For us commoners, what exactly is Foodservice?

The Foodservice industry is large and consists of many sub channels which provide out of home food and beverage occasions such as Restaurants, Cafes and Hotels. Foodservice also includes catering in Hospitals, Educations, Sporting stadiums and many more. Generally speaking when supplying products into the foodservice channel the product you provide is an ingredients or part of the end product that is consumed. A simple example is providing milk to the café to make a latte.


Why is it an important market for Parmalat Australia?

It is important because the world is changing its habits when it comes to consuming food and beverage. For example in the US 52% of people are consuming out of home. These changes have been driven by a number of factors including peoples need for convenience as they are time poor. Technology has played a big role as people have all the information and options at their fingertips. Just look at how quickly home delivery from your favourite restaurant has taken off. This all presents opportunities for the Parmalat Professional Foodservice business.


You’ve had a long and successful career in the FMCG space. Comparatively, how would you describe the pace of the dairy industry?

Wow, yes the pace of the dairy industry is fast. We are dealing with fresh products which in a lot of cases need to be delivered daily to all locations around Australia. Therefore our forecasting has to be accurate and you have to have an effective and efficient distribution network. The fact is the milk keeps coming from the cows so you need to be agile when things change in the market place. It’s a very exciting and dynamic industry to work in.


What’s your favourite Parmalat product and why?

That’s an easy one “OAK STRAWBERRY” I have liked strawberry milk from as early as I can remember and you don’t get any better than OAK.
CRAIG GARVIN
CRAIG GARVIN

REGIONAL CEO
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What are the key responsibilities that come with being the CEO?

I think the most important role any CEO plays is leading people – creating a vision, and getting everybody to buy into it. It doesn't matter whether they work on the factory floor, or they’re a senior manager - everybody needs to be on the same page. It’s about alignment of purpose.


How do you define success?

Success to me is engagement, achievement, quality, consistency - it’s constant improvement – being better this year than we were last year, across a whole range of key performance indicators. The point I’d like to stress - it’s more than results. At Parmalat, we talk about results x behavior. That’s what drives sustainability. We have three very clear values – Simplicity, Ambition and Engagement. If our people are living and breathing those values, I think we will continue to be successful. But buy in comes from chatting with, not preaching to.


The retail market in Australia isn't exactly a walk in the park – how do you keep people motivated in challenging times?

Winning helps, and we are winning – that’s the first point. They might be small wins - “hard ball gets” to coin a footy phrase, but that’s what makes them worthwhile. Beyond that, I think the key is to focus on what you can control, as opposed to worrying and getting frustrated by events and circumstances beyond your centre of influence. The other point is simply enjoying what you do. Working hard, yes, but having fun, and that comes from achieving and from the interactions you have with the people around you – your relationships and friendships. We all spend a lot of time at work – we might as well enjoy it.


Have you thought about the legacy you’d like to leave?

Not really. It would be something around building Parmalat’s reputation as a high achieving, high integrity organization, where anybody with the right mindset could reach their potential, where they could learn and grow, but still understand that no individual was more important than the team.
CRAIG GARVIN
ROD WALDEN
ROD WALDEN

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
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The company’s most experienced executive - you’ve been working at Parmalat now for in excess of 35 years – you must like the place?!

Love it! Born to a milkman, my first job at the age was 11 was a milk run, I went to Uni, studied, and since then, I’ve been working for a Milk company. Or at least that’s what it was when I joined. It’s a lot bigger than that now.


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Dairy is a healthy product, an ethical product. Not like cigarettes or gaming or alcohol. It contributes to our health and wellbeing – 99.9% of the population recognizes this as fact. Being part of an industry that is so well regarded, that plays a part in so many people’s lives – I think that’s worth celebrating.


You must have witnessed some dramatic changes over such a lengthy period?

Virtually nothing today bears any resemblance to what it was like when I joined in 1979. It’s a completely different business. But I’d say the most significant change is the global footprint Parmalat now enjoys. When I started, we were a regional business with national aspirations. A turnover of $300 million. Now we’re part of Global powerhouse, with dairy operations in more than 50 countries, a turnover of $18 billion.


What are some of the benefits of that ownership structure?

Security, financial strength, knowledge and experience, shared intelligence, cultural exchange, opportunities for growth, both from a business and an individual perspective – the list is endless. In the past few years alone, for instance, we have acquired Harvey Fresh in Western Australia, and Longwarry Milk and Jindi cheese in Victoria. This could not have been achieved without the support of our parent company.
ROD WALDEN


ANGELA BURR



GENERAL MANAGER MARKETING

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As a relative newcomer to Parmalat, what have been your general observations? How for instance does it differ from other companies that you’ve worked for?

Well, in answer to the first part of the question, culturally it’s definitely exceeded my expectations. It’s an exciting place to work. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit within the business that I’ve never before encountered. People are encouraged to think outside the box, to back their judgment and take calculated risks. It makes for a very positive and energetic environment. As far as what makes it different - probably just the sense of fun. It’s very a very “uncorporate” corporate environment, if that makes sense. There’s no time or room for political games.

The explosion of social media over the past five to 10 years – that must have made your life as a marketer interesting?

It sure has! It's presented some challenges but on the flip side, so many opportunities that at times, it’s been hard to know where to start! In years gone by, marketing was all about pushing a message. Today it’s about conversations and interaction. Through all the social media channels, there’s a genuine opportunity to connect with consumers – not only understand what they like and don’t like – but why. Their beliefs and attitudes. Having access to such rich information – in real time - allows us to better understand the emerging trends. The other key difference for me is the importance now of agility – being able and prepared to act quickly. The world is moving at such a pace there’s no time to sit around in “committees”, pondering whether something will or won’t work. You have to act, which is where backing your instinct comes into play.

That’s the new world externally – what about internally? Has social media changed the way you interact with your peers? Even across other functions within the business?

It’s certainly helped people feel more connected. Within the marketing team for instance, we use “What’s App” to share images and information, war stories, successes, even red flags. That all contributes to a sense of “team”, as well aiding the agility piece. I think the other beauty from a leadership perspective is being able to share more of yourself with your team. Every now and then for instance, posting a photo of what you’re doing with your kids on the weekend. I think that helps break down barriers, because it’s not an email or a 20-slide powerpoint deck relating to work. It’s just people being real people.

How important is recruitment? What do you look for in team members?

I’m incredibly careful as to whom I bring into the business. The culture at Parmalat is precious – we all have an obligation to protect it. The key for me is striking a balance between technical excellence and personality. Excellence is a given, because if they’re not smart, it’s unlikely they are going to be able to step up to the plate and contribute to the team, Then nobody wins. But beyond that – recruiting the right style of person is critical. Anybody we think might have a propensity for rocking the boat or playing political games simply doesn't get a look in!
NIGEL ULRICH
NIGEL ULRICH

GENERAL MANAGER | LEGAL
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Another long term staffer, how did you find your way into the business?

I actually joined Pauls - as it was then - as an accountant, working in the company’s hotel division in the Northern Territory. There’s been a lot of changes since then – Pauls quickly got out of hotels, and I pretty quickly got out of accountancy to study law!


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Very positive, engaged, forward thinking, an organization that empowers it’s people to make decisions. There’s support at the higher level, hopefully without micro-management.


In your role, you must need to have a broad understanding of the business?

I do. And that ties in with the best piece of management advice I’ve ever received. I was told very early on in my career – you can't properly manage a business unless you know what the hell it does. The point being, the better you understand how a business works - how all the key functions fit together – the more informed the decisions you can make. So walk around, talk to people about what they do, beyond a superficial level. Understanding the key business drivers is essential.


People or task – what’s more important?

People. Unless you’ve got good people, the task will never get done.


A busy, high pressure job, how do you keep your life in balance?

For me, exercise is a priority – I’m a keen cyclist, and after you’ve ridden 120kms, including up a few mountains, you’re too exhausted to think or worry about anything to do with work! I admit – in this modern day age of connectivity and accessibility, it can be a real trap for senior executives. You can become completely immersed in work, if you allow yourself. Fortunately, the culture at Parmalat steers people away from that singular focus. Productivity is important, but activity for activity’s sake is not.
NIGEL ULRICH
RON GRANTHAM
RON GRANTHAM

GENERAL MANAGER INDUSTRIAL
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What are the specific challenges that come with manufacturing dairy products?

Probably more than anything else, the time frame and the complexity. We are dealing with a milk supply seven days a week, 365 days a year, making products with a very short shelf life, and servicing markets both domestic and international. There’s no time to get it wrong. There’s always pressure - meeting customer demands, and making sure products are fresh and of the highest quality, irrespective of whether it’s raining, hailing or shining.


You have a large team, spread across a lot of different manufacturing sites. How do you go about leading them?

I try to stay very positive. A good attitude is essential. It's important too, to recognize that everybody is trying to do the best they can. We’re human. We don't always get everything right, but in the same breath, nobody turns up to work intending to do a crappy job. They want to do well. My main responsibility is to provide an environment where they can do their best, where they can learn and grow, and develop a true sense of achievement.


More broadly, what appeals to you about working for Parmalat?

In a nutshell, great people, great culture, great brands. Brands that contribute to people’s health and well being. They’re real, they’re locally made. These days, we source a lot of “stuff” from China. We are never going to source fresh milk from China.


Outside of work, what do you do to unwind?

Family is very important. I still play seniors footy in winter – nothing serious, just a gallop around. I’m also a passionate St Kilda supporter.


Sorry to hear that!

Yes – it’s taught me to endure. But the occasional sweet moment – they taste even sweeter! I think we can learn a lot from sport and team environments. Pretty well everything that happens in a dressing shed happens in a business environment as well.
RON GRANTHAM
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
PASCAL FRANCISQUE

GENERAL MANAGER YOGURTS & DESSERTS
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What do you find most exciting about the opportunity to lead the Yogurts & Desserts Division?

I’m most excited to work with a cross functional team to continue to drive excellence in our fantastic brands like Vaalia, Tamar Valley and Farm House Gold. Y&D is a highly competitive channel, and we plan to make a greater impact on the channel by growing market share and launching new products. We see exciting times ahead for the Division.


You started your career in Australia running the Cheese division. What was your proudest achievement for that business?

We introduced and established our global brands, President and Galbani in the Australian market. These were exciting achievements for us especially increasing Lactalis’ global footprint “down-under”. The fact that these products are made locally is a memorable milestone. Furthermore, we managed to nearly double our employee engagement result in just 2 years. This had an immediate positive result in terms of team member wellbeing, commitment and ownership across the Division and also saw improvement in our Financial results.


In your opinion, why is Employee Engagement important?

Our work place is where we spend a significant amount of time. To make the most of this experience, the better employees feel about their workplace and the company they work for, the greater the contributions they will make to the overall performance of the business. Without it, we can’t build a long term, sustainable success story.


Parmalat Australia clearly supports career rotations and career paths. You are a great example! What advice would you give to someone just starting their career with the company?

Starting my career as Sales Rep and now in charge of the Yogurts & Dessert business in Australia, means that we all have the opportunity to grow with Lactalis/Parmalat if we are committed to its success and embrace its Values 100%! My advice would be to make the most of every opportunity, continue to grow and challenge yourself to go beyond where you think you can go. Strive to gain knowledge and a strong understanding of the industry and the business. Recognise that boundaries are useful for navigation but limitations will hold you back.
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
VINCE HOULIHAN
VINCE HOULIHAN

GENERAL MANAGER | SUPPLY CHAIN
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You’ve been in part of the company for almost 30 years – what’s kept you there for that length of time?

An organization that takes milk from a farm, converts it into drinking products, yoghurt, cheese, desserts, and then delivers it into the hands of consumers – it’s an incredibly interesting business. I’ve spent my entire career, exploring how it works. And every time I think I know all there is to know… guess what? – I’ll discover something completely new!


You're regarded as walking talking Dairy encyclopedia. Hit us with some Cow trivia.

OK. The average cow produces around 30 litres of milk a day – but only for 250 to 280 days a year. So that’s around 5000 to 6000 litres of milk a year. A bit more when they first calve.


Who’s the better business partner – the farmers or the cows?

What I’d like to say about the farmers – they are genuinely passionate about what they do - their animals and the process of farming. It’s a tough game – not for the faint hearted, but we work closely with them to ensure the best possible result for all parties.


Do you have a favourite management philosophy?

I’ve really come to appreciate there’s more creativity in any team than there is in any individual. You can be the smartest person in the room, but you're never going to be smarter than the whole group. The key as a leader is harnessing that team effort and knowledge, to get the best possible outcome. The other key for me is finding time to switch off. To have some down time when you’re not thinking about work. It’s getting harder and harder on account of technology but we all need to find ways. We need to be disciplined.
VINCE HOULIHAN
RICCARDO PIAGGI
RICCARDO PIAGGI

GENERAL MANAGER | HUMAN RESOURCES
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You’ve been working with Parmalat in Italy for more than a decade, but in Australia only since 2014. What are your observations about Australian business culture?

I find it very open. People are warm and friendly. I think mostly very positive. Other than that, I’m convinced that working with people – investing in human capital - is the same the world over. You need to engage people, provide them with a sense of belonging, motivate them, and not overwhelm them with complicated systems and processes.


How important is communication in that process?

Communication is a key pillar in any successful business. Communicate poorly and you create huge problems. Communicate well and you create opportunities. It is important to have the same thinking cascading down through the organization and that’s not possible without effective communication – disseminating the right message, through the right channels at the right time.


Have you embraced Australia’s proud sporting culture since you’ve been in Australia? Will we see you, for instance in Bay 13 on December 26, beer in hand, watching the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG?

I don't know that much about cricket. But I support all the Football teams we sponsor. The Penrith Panthers, Port Adelaide Football Club and the Brisbane Roar. I have plenty of teams to cheer.


If Parmalat changes it’s allegiance – if they take on new sponsorships - will you support those teams instead!?

Of course. Whomever we support, I will support! I am very passionate and also very loyal to my favourite Italians team only!
RICCARDO PIAGGI


MAL CARSELDINE



GENERAL MANAGER LIQUIDS


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Rumor has it that sometime in an earlier life you were selling computer systems in Bulgaria. Is that true?

Yep– good research! Straight out of Uni actually, I was part of an exchange program where you were dispatched to far away places in the world – I finished up in Bulgaria. I was there for six months.


Did you sell many computer systems?

Very few as a matter of fact! It was a bit of stretch, not being able to speak the language. What was worse, Bulgaria’s one of the few places where the nodding of the head actually means “no”. It took me most of my time over there to work that out! No wonder I had limited success.


What if anything did you learn from your world travels that you’re now applying to your career with Parmalat.

I think to be curious. See, watch and learn. Also the value of getting out of your comfort zone. I spent a lot of time backpacking around Central & South America which was a bit hairy at times. But being out of your comfort zone is where you learn the most and create your best memories.


What do you enjoy about working for Parmalat?

I love the Dairy industry for starters. There are so many nuances that have to be taken into account before you can arrive at the correct commercial decision. Parmalat specific - you have permission to make change. In fact it’s expected. Across the business, we are all challenging ourselves with the same question: is there a better way of doing things?


And that’s what you try and instill in your team?

Absolutely. It links back to curiosity. Keep your eyes and ears open. There are good ideas and opportunities everywhere!



JENNI BOOTH



GENERAL MANAGER CUSTOMER


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You have recently had a few cross functional moves, Marketing into Customer Marketing and more recently Customer Marketing into Customer. How has that experience been?

I have been fortunate to be able to move roles cross-functionally within Parmalat giving me broader exposure to different parts of the organisation. I thoroughly enjoy learning new skills and I love to challenge myself to achieve more than I did the day before. Managing teams of people throughout the past few years has been one the most rewarding aspect of my roles, seeing people grow and develop is outstanding.

So Parmalat supports self-directed careers?

Yes, I have had an active Individual Development Plan in place for several years now and it is a great platform to be able to document not our your areas for development but what direction you wish to move in within your career.

Tell us about the challenges of the competitive environment Parmalat Australia operates in? Are you winning?

Yes! We operate within highly competitive environment but that is what keeps it interesting. We have an amazing portfolio of market leading brands and importantly we invest in innovation to ensure that we are keeping up with the ever-changing shopper and consumer landscape.

As a manager, what qualities do you look for in team members?

People with positive energy because it is this quality that brings other people together and has the ability to create momentum and ground swell behind ideas. Importantly I also want my team members to be entrepreneurial in their thinking, with a clear ability to take risks and learn from mistakes, ensuring a process of constant improvement.

The team piece is important?

Hell yes! They can have all the other qualities, but they need to demonstrate a willingness to participate, to add value, to engage in a positive manner. Passion and positive energy is essential, because it’s contagious.

What has experience taught you?

Just have a go. Take risks. There’s little merit in simply replicating what everybody else is doing. Try different stuff, without fear that it’s not perfect. Take the learnings and let the idea evolve. Because one thing for sure - if you’re aiming for perfection – you’re destined for disappointment!



JEROME LOETITIA



GENERAL MANAGER INTERNATIONAL


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You’ve worked in the international dairy market for over 15 years. Tell us what keeps you interested in this space?

The global market is always evolving - that’s why it’s so exciting! Working in an Export area gives you access to different cultures, history, languages and food as well. Travelling, meeting our customers/distributors but also our consumers is always an enriching experience. I’ve been managing different territories and they are uniquely different from each other and each time it’s a new discovery and challenge. There are many opportunities to grow our export business and this is a promising future for us.

You’ve been described as having advanced knowledge of the Asian regional market. Tell us about some of the opportunities and challenges facing the Asian dairy industry

Consumption per capita is far below our standards (Australia/Europe) so obviously there is much space to investigate in order to grow our footprint and business with this key region.

The Asian region is growing quickly in both population and GDP so that clearly presents a world of opportunities for a company like Parmalat. The Asian market is often perceived as primarily China (which is the big one for sure!) however so many other countries in this region have a strong potential (human + economical) and could represent opportunities for our future growth (Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Singapore to name a few). On top of that the Aussie image around Dairy is really positive (safe, ethical, good expertise) and Pauls has been a solid brand in this region for decades in territories such as Hong Kong (50 years!!), Singapore or Papua New Guinea. With all our assets combined we are able to meet the expectations of each of the Asian/Pacific markets and that’s a key priority for the company.

As a citizen of the world, you’ve lived in some pretty curious places. How does life in Australia measure up?

I’ve lived mainly in France and in the Reunion island (close to South Africa) which was definitely a fantastic experience. Now living in Australia is another experience, very different from the “old Europe” (the country is so huge!!!) with Melbourne being so multicultural, it’s like a world in itself with lots of communities living together peacefully. The Aussies are warm people, always positive and optimistic which is truly refreshing.

What do you enjoy most about the workplace culture at Parmalat Australia?

I like the atmosphere, team spirit and our commitment to achieving for each other and the company. We are always ready to face any challenge! And let’s not forget, the Aussie accent is, of course, part of it. 🙂



TERRY JOHNSTON



GENERAL MANAGER FOOD SERVICE


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Terry Johnston, or TJ for short. Being a kiwi (we won’t hold that against you!), do you find it annoying or nicely familiar that Aussies have a tendency to abbreviate everything?

I don’t find it annoying at all. I moved over to Australia 15 years ago and my work mates very quickly started calling me TJ and it has stuck ever since. Now as a matter of fact most of my Kiwi friends call me TJ. The Aussie spirit is great and being a Kiwi I have had my share of feedback over the years. I have particularly enjoyed talking about Rugby with my Aussie friends.

For us commoners, what exactly is Foodservice?

The Foodservice industry is large and consists of many sub channels which provide out of home food and beverage occasions such as Restaurants, Cafes and Hotels. Foodservice also includes catering in Hospitals, Educations, Sporting stadiums and many more. Generally speaking when supplying products into the foodservice channel the product you provide is an ingredients or part of the end product that is consumed. A simple example is providing milk to the café to make a latte.

Why is it an important market for Parmalat Australia?

It is important because the world is changing its habits when it comes to consuming food and beverage. For example in the US 52% of people are consuming out of home. These changes have been driven by a number of factors including peoples need for convenience as they are time poor. Technology has played a big role as people have all the information and options at their fingertips. Just look at how quickly home delivery from your favourite restaurant has taken off. This all presents opportunities for the Parmalat Professional Foodservice business.

You’ve had a long and successful career in the FMCG space. Comparatively, how would you describe the pace of the dairy industry?

Wow, yes the pace of the dairy industry is fast. We are dealing with fresh products which in a lot of cases need to be delivered daily to all locations around Australia. Therefore our forecasting has to be accurate and you have to have an effective and efficient distribution network. The fact is the milk keeps coming from the cows so you need to be agile when things change in the market place. It’s a very exciting and dynamic industry to work in.

What’s your favourite Parmalat product and why?

That’s an easy one “OAK STRAWBERRY” I have liked strawberry milk from as early as I can remember and you don’t get any better than OAK.