One important factor, however, has remained constant for 100 years – the values the visionary pair instilled in their family company.
“We’ve done a lot of work and continue to do a lot of work, to keep the values of the company alive. We value integrity, collaboration, curiosity, and family, which is all about caring for those in the community and those who work for us,” Chief Executive Officer Wayne Crofts says.
“Keeping values front of mind, along with having a strong view of our strategy, keeps us guided in the right direction and enables us to make difficult decisions when we need to.”
The willingness to adapt and diversify has been a trademark over the past 100 years, with the group largely settling on protein production, including beloved Western Australian brands Amelia Park and Linley Valley Pork, in the 21st century.
“We have been in and out of various markets at different times, ranging from fresh food, fertiliser, produce, prawns, to crayfish. If we saw an opportunity, we went after it,” Mr Crofts says. “The flexibility of being family owned, has given us the opportunity to transition in and out of markets much quicker than other organisations which gives us an edge.”
Building community trust
There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with a company that has been successful for so long, and not just as one that now employs about 1500 people.
“It’s a significant agribusiness in the community – particularly in Western Australia, where most of our operations now reside,” Mr Crofts says. “Our consumer brands are well known amongst customers; Linley Valley Pork and Amelia Park are known for their quality, and providence from Western Australia. The main responsibility we have is to the community, to ensure that the community trust us in our operations.”
It’s a big operation, too: each week, the group processes 15,000 pigs, 18,000 sheep and lamb, and 1200 cattle for domestic and international markets from Singapore to China and the Middle East.
“We try to be both market and consumer led with our development for new products so we will tailor products, whether it be how they are cut, how they are presented or how they are marketed, depending on the market needs,” Mr Crofts says.
“A great example of that is Linley Valley Pork is marketed as Pure Pork in Singapore because of the market perception that the product needs to be as nature intended as opposed to the market perception we see elsewhere, like locally in Western Australia, where they see value in the product being free range.”
Reputation for quality
Whether producing for the local or international market, however, Mr Crofts says it helps to have such strong recognition for the exceptional quality of Western Australian produce.
“We’ve been told in international markets that we get better shelf life out of our products when compared to competitors. That’s largely to do with the quality of product, the speed of processing and the quality of the supply chain which delivers it to those markets,” he says.
At home, the Buy West Eat Best program also helps give consumers confidence in what they are buying. “A brand like Buy West Eat Best resonates so strongly in Western Australia,” Mr Crofts says. “I think West Australians like the idea of supporting their local industries.”
Craig Mostyn Group also sets great store in supporting the local community, including by donating high quality protein to not-for-profit Live To Tell Your Story, which helps young people to learn how to prepare and cook nutritious meals, and helping Foodbank Australia to support people who would otherwise go hungry.
While the agribusiness has much to celebrate in the past, there is a clear vision for the future, too. “We are absolutely focused on our position – largely in the production of land-based protein, and at this stage the production of animal-based land-based protein,” Mr Crofts says.
“We see great opportunity for those products, right through the supply chain to the retail shelf. We’re continuing to value-add West Australian lamb, beef, and pork into formats from which a butcher would process right through to a retail pack that would go on shelf in Australia and around the world.”
Future success also means never losing sight of the reasons the group has been able to go the distance: a consistent focus on key markets and maintaining those strong family values in all areas of the business.