Gurmesh is Oz Group’s Chairman and a Coffs Coast local. For Gurmesh, farming is a family affair, with his family working together growing macadamia nuts in the Corindi area since 1996. His family also had some involvement in growing raspberries in the early 2000s. As the blueberry industry started to take off, Gurmesh and his family saw the benefits of this and began growing blueberries. They added another family farm in 2009 in order to expand their blueberry crop.
Gurmesh’s family joined Oz Group when they began growing blueberries in 2004. They can appreciate the advantages that the farmer owned co-operative can give them, with the packing and marketing taken care of, allowing the family to concentrate on effective farming. They are also appreciative of the access to the agronomy team and their knowledge, aiding them in cutting unnecessary costs and producing more high-quality berries.
Gurmesh recognises the importance of the co-op to the wider agricultural industry and joined the board as a way to help the co-op expand and manage their role within his local community. He brings education and experience to the role, having studied Industrial Design at UNSW and worked in marketing, advertising and design. He is committed to his role within the co-operative, being a full-time farmer since 2013 and a role model for young farmers and community members.
Gurmesh recognises the strengths of Oz Group and continues to champion its goals. He can appreciate the accomplishments in having farmers work together with industry experts to produce sustainable and premium quality products. He also recognises the challenges that the co-op faces in relation to quality and product supply. He hopes to see plant variety diversification and greater investment in Oz Group’s cool-chain management to help Oz Group succeed in the long term.