The mulitnational Heinz has been in the news a bit recently.
First, they announce a restructure, which means closing plants, and consolidating production, in this case to NZ, and to a remaining Australian plant that will get a bit of a kick-along. Wonder how long that will last?
Then the worldwide CFO Art Winkleblack took aim at the retail duopoly in Australia, citing it as a reason for the difficulties Heinz has had, and as a basis of the restructuring decisions. I bet the local sales management loved him for it, the next time they had to front Coles and Woolies!
In a short period, the challenges of the industry are laid bare, the $A making imports cheaper, the power exercised by the retail duopoly, and the necessity of manufacturing and marketing scale to counter it.
If Heinz, a global business turning over close to a billion dollars in Australia, and many more globally has these problems, put yourself in the position of the SME, with little marketing leverage, a plant that needs capital, banks that are so risk averse, and so stripped of people who understand small business they simply choose not to engage, how can the little guy hope to sustain his business?. Pure bloody mindedness and determination is about the only answer you will come up with, mixed in with a spirit of being prepared to really have a go, and screw the buggars!.
We wonder why we have more imports of packaged food products into this country than we produce, the position Heinz finds itself in demonstrates why.