Kyabram has three GMCU Allianz finalists

By James Arbuthnott

Three Kyabram businesses are finalists in the 2019 GMCU Allianz Campaspe Murray Business Awards.

A young Subway employee, Brady Electrical Contracting and Freeland Pork are now looking to the community for votes in their selected categories to win the prestigious award.

Freeland Pork's Claire Coates, who is up for both best agriculture business and best new business, found her dream farm through a social enterprise that connects retiring farmers and investors to budding farmers.

She said her paddock to table free-range pig farm is honest with its buyers and this is what sets her year-old business apart from traditional pig farmers.

"We rely on quality, not quantity," Claire said.

"We sell predominantly to the community, we sell at 18 farmers' markets every month, so customers are buying directly from who is farming the animal.

"Nowadays people want to know where their food is coming from. They're concerned about traceability and they're looking to see if excess chemicals were used.

"We want to keep our animals as healthy and pure as we can. It comes down to nutrition and genetics. Our pigs are effectively vegetarian."

The 18-year-old Samuel Skipton was nominated by his employer Sue McQuienn for employee of the year for showing initiative and work ethic in the year he's worked at Kyabram Subway.

"Within six months Samuel could open the store and close the store. So he was basically running the store at that time. And he was doing that when he was 17," Ms McQuienn said.

"He works his butt off. Every day he’s in there early and in winter he will still walk to work.

"He’s great to assist me around the store with ideas. I can't praise him enough."

And Brady Electrical Contracting's Laura Brady said it was environmental innovation and technology that sets her and her husband apart.

"We've worked hard the last couple of years to take our business to the next level," she said.

"We offer a complete project management style for each job to keep our clients up to date.

"We also offer online consultations and have a design process which includes on-site inspections.

"And obviously, we work hard towards a sustainable future."

From the point of view of builders and those in construction, having a digital snapshot gives them a full understanding of where their property is at before anyone goes to work on it.

"We work alongside solar companies and the government to coordinate eligible rebates for our clients to get their property to a five-star energy rating," Laura said.

"The feedback is that bills are a lot lower and everything runs more efficient."

Voting is now open for this reputable award, which recognises a job well done and strives to inspire community-business engagement.