Southland meat processor Blue Sky Pastures’ supreme award win at the Westpac Southland Business Excellence Awards heralds a new era for the Southland-based business.
Held at the Ascot Park Hotel on September 27, the newly rebranded Blue Sky Pastures (previously Blue Sky Meats) was the overall Supreme Award winner of the night, and took home the Findex Primary and Primary Services Sector Award.
Chairman Scott O’Donnell said the awards were massive accomplishments in a challenging industry.
“These wins are a direct reflection of the hard work our people on the floor have put in, along with the loyal and long-term support from livestock and non-livestock suppliers, shareholders, our board of directors, customers, bank and all staff,” he said.
Chief executive Todd Grave said the awards evening had been an opportunity for the team to unwind as the end of the year approached, but the wins had been a welcome surprise on top of an already-great evening.
“To even be a finalist among some of Southland’s top businesses was a great achievement for us, so to take home two awards was an amazing feeling,” he said.
The meat processing industry continued to face ongoing changes, but as a local processor committed to local farmers, Blue Sky Pastures had been able to respond to those changes to deliver favourable outcomes for staff and suppliers.
The history of the meat processor had, in the past, been tumultuous with directors stepping down and the business struggling to make a profit and pay dividends for some years.
However, the implementation of a Strategic Plan in 2017 had seen Blue Sky Pastures turn its fortune around out of sheer hard work and dedication from all parties.
The future of Blue Sky Pastures now lies in building on the positive momentum and capturing more of the value-chain towards end-consumers, Grave said.
Areas of growth include delivering resilient performance across numerous variables, moving to the new Blue Sky Pasture brand and market development projects into fast moving consumer goods marketing, improving workplace health and safety and continuing to build the capability of Blue Sky’s people and the quality of its infrastructure.
As well as a steady and growing financial performance, the company has made substantial investments in upgrading its Morton Mains plant and was taking a proactive approach in addressing environmental concerns, including a new $3.7 million wastewater treatment plant and dissolved air filtration system.
“We’re very proud of how far the team has come.
“We’re still in our rebuilding phase but the past three years of steady performance and now these business awards wins mean we’re on the right track,” Grave said.