Future-proofing an agribusiness is one of the most important considerations when determining business viability. The Year 12 Agribusiness class visited the Wynyard Saffron Estate and Wright's Honey in Ettrick to discover first-hand how these business owners were ensuring a long and sustainable future in the agribusiness sector.
The annual Year 12 Agribusiness Central Tour was somewhat truncated this year due to COVID concerns, but the boys did manage a full day trip to two of our greatest supporters.
Whilst the saffron estate visit focused on the business economics (as the corms are still in the ground), Mike and Tracey Wright set up their factory so three groups of boys could rotate through the entire extraction, bottling (jar'ing?) and packing process over a period of two hours. Many of the boys commented on much work was actually involved in producing one jar of honey. The Wrights actually worked until midnight the day we visited to finish extracting the honey that was collected during the week.
A particular highlight was packaging the comb-honey bound for Hong Kong; most boys had a crack at it and a few boxes were packed, bound and labelled for distribution before we left.
Saffron has increased to $40000.00 p/kg since we last visited but most of the harvest is still put into value-added products, particularly the Hawk-Eye eye-health range developed by Graham, Wendy and their scientist collaborators. Hawk-Eye is used to treat a number of eye conditions and generally improve eye health. Whilst none of the boys needed vision improvement, most of them did buy mum a saffron-infused gift from the gift store, a nice touch by a great bunch of boys!
Each visit concluded with an extensive question time where the boys tried to determine how these business owners were ensuring that they were still relevant and in business 10 years from now.
Our sincere thanks goes to Mike and Tracey Wright and Graham Strong and Wendy King for hosting us and their generosity towards the boys. Help us thank them by stopping at the Wright's Honey stall on the way to Roxburgh, and popping into the Saffron Estate gift shop for jams, soaps, honey and many other edible (and non-edible) treats, all infused with the mystical spice of saffron!