Head Shepherd

40 Years of Meat Trading with Richard Rains

May 15, 2023 Richard Rains Season 2023 Episode 132
Head Shepherd
40 Years of Meat Trading with Richard Rains
Show Notes

Join us today for a chat through Richard Rains's career of 40 years of selling meat around the world. "It became a great passion and I still pinch myself every day at the success a little kid from the bush was able to achieve." 

Richard grew up in central NSW and was the youngest of four kids. When it was his turn to return to the farm, his father said to him, "Things aren't great. If you come home, it just means we've just got to split the meagre returns another way." explains Richard. "He did say, give it a go, if it works we'll all be better off. If it doesn't, you can just come home". With that safety net behind him, Richard started into his career in the meat industry. 
In the early seventies, Richard was head-hunted to go to a meat trading firm, Sanger. With Sanger, Richard sold the first beef to Korea that was ever imported there via government tender. He spent a lot of time there. "Thirteen times in one year. Quite a thing for a young kid from the bush," he says. 

After a year in the London offices, Richard was sent back to Australia as the business was struggling. Richard then joined the newly formed Sanger Australia in 1976 and retired 10 years ago, leaving behind a $500 million legacy.

Mark and Richard talk through how they built that business so successfully,  from hiring and training staff in the right way and also having a fantastic relationship with
Richard and Mark then discuss the future of the industry from the view of a meat trader. 

"Food is an experience, and how lucky are we to have these experiences," says Richard. "There was absolutely no doubt in my time, the more tags you could put on an animal the greater value you could get for it. Whether it was Wagyu, Organic, Natural, Grain fed or Grass fed." And the same still stands today. 

Richard believes we should be doing more brand marketing. But, not at an individual producer level. His advice is... "Rather than producing what Grandad did and hoping for the best, I strongly recommend producers to get a relationship with their producer and find out which one is going to work for them. They should supply into that processors brand."

Mark and Richard round the podcast off by talking about the Zanda McDonald award. "It is changing lives, and at my stage in life there's not much that gives me greater pleasure than being able to change the lives of young people in Agriculture."

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