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Published by Fairfax Agricultural Media
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By PETER BRADY
HE passion for her job is evi-
dent in any conversation with
Woodside Cheese Wrights'
She is, by her own admission,
parochial, proactive, aspirational,
And as one of five Australian final-
ists in the global 2012 Veuve
Clicquot Business Woman Award,
she wants more South Australian
women in agribusiness to have the
"My job is not exactly glamorous --
hair net, whites, gum boots," Kris
"It looks like (and is) a bit of hard
"But I'm very passionate about
what I do. I guess the message for
other women is they are their own
limit -- look what can happen just
If she wins against four other
Australians, Kris will join 15 other
finalists from around the world at
Reim, in France, home of great
Regarded as the Oscar for female
entrepreneurs and business leaders,
the award is in its 40th year.
Held in 16 countries, it was the
first international award specifically
created to recognise the contribu-
tion women make to business.
In addition to the financial returns
and commercial success of nomi-
nees, judges take into account
important factors such as commit-
ment to community, employees and
The winner's prize includes a
return business class flight to
France, a Champagne vine chris-
tened in their name, a silver replica
of Veuve Clicquot and a bottle of Le
Grande Dame Champagne every
year for the rest of the finalist's life
on the birthday of the late Madame
Kris took over Woodside Cheese
Wrights in 1999, having never made
"It was a steep learning curve, and
I had a passion for business," she
"After I started, I was hooked and
found that I had the ability to be cre-
"I had a good team around me,
and my style is mentor-driven -- I
want people to have a go."
Between 2002 and 2004, Kris
grew the business five-fold, and in
the last half of 2011, it increased 35
Kris won the national Telstra
Business Woman of the Year catego-
ry for innovation in 2002.
"I believe it's a testament to my
business philosophy," she said.
"One of things we aspire to is
quality, and these accolades are a bit
of an affirmation about aspiration.
"It's like when I wanted to put
flowers on cheese and everyone said
'Kris, you can't do that' -- so I did it
and produced Monet, which is
named after his garden and incorpo-
rates edible organic flowers.
"You have to be tenacious and per-
sistent if you want to be an innova-
tor, so when you believe in it, stick
Kris says she is thrilled to be SA's
only representative in the Australian
section of the awards, which will be
announced on March 8 --
International Women's Day.
"More than just being selected, I
think it's great for small business
and wonderful for the cheese indus-
try," she said.
Woodside Cheese Wrights has a
cellar door, open between 10am and
4pm every day and sells, soft, semi-
hard and hard cheese, and a range of
• Need to know more?
Cheesemaker Kris Lloyd has been
selected as one of five Australian
finalist for an international award.
You have to be tenacious
and persistent if you want
to be an innovator, so
when you believe in it,
stick to it.
with ZANNIE FLANAGAN
WILLUNGA Farmers Market will cele-
brate its 10th birthday on February 25.
The milestone will be no surprise to
members and regular shoppers, so
entrenched has it become to their
weekly lives. It is an iconic Fleurieu
The market was established by volun-
teers and a grant of $15,000. It began
trading on February 23, 2002, in the
carpark of the Alma Hotel, with only 22
The organising committee's biggest
fear on that first morning was that no
one would turn up. We needn't have
worried. By 10.30am, some stallholders
had already sold out and returned to
their farms for more produce.
The market has never looked back,
despite the breakfast BBQ catching fire
and providing the organisers with a
quick lesson in risk management.
Three weeks after it started, David
Suzuki and the newly elected South
Australian Labor government's Health
Minister John Hill arrived to officially
open the market.
More than 3000 people came, caus-
ing traffic jams in all directions.
Nowadays, those numbers turn up
every week to support the 50-odd stalls
set up in front of the Alma, the market
having long ago grown beyond the
bounds of the carpark.
Community owned farmers' markets
have been opening at a heady pace
since then and there are now more than
seven weekly farmers' markets operat-
ing throughout the State with many
others trading monthly.
The latest to open are at Murray
Bridge and Mount Pleasant.
Why have these markets found such
favour with producers and is shopping
at them just a fad? Only time will tell.
Successful market stallholders are
those who have identified a produce
gap at the markets and who aim to pro-
vide the highest possible quality.
Producers generally love them, and
some businesses which started life at
Willunga have developed their business
models to supply multiple markets.
The market is full of stories, but one I
love is the Miss Merbein story. Owners
Lisa and Mark McCarthy sell at three
weekly markets, offering dried figs,
raisins, sultanas, currants, apples, pears,
pistachios and freshly squeezed apple
juice all year round.
Returns to stallholders only part of amazing story
set to inspire others
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