Securing local jobs

This week’s opening of Jurlique’s $30m expansion to its research and production facilities is good news for the local jobs market but it also underlines the potential for Hills companies to mix it with the world’s best.
This international company, which grows most of its raw product on its farm near Mylor, has resisted any temptation to undertake its production overseas and this latest investment plants its roots firmly in the fertile soil of the Hills.
It is a successful business model which can be replicated by other manufacturers who seize the opportunity to value add to the region’s primary production.
The clean, green and pristine scene of the Mylor valley is regarded by Jurlique as the best place on the planet to grow its base product.
And it tells the world exactly that!
That is the starting position for its entire back story and is a valuable marketing tool in creating a point of difference to separate it from the myriad of similar products on the international market.
The same technique is used by local wineries, cheese makers and meat producers who use the Hills’ image as a tool to sell the story behind their product.
The success of Jurlique and similar local companies should be used as a guide to develop many more value adding jobs for local world-class primary produce in the soon-to-be-established industrial zone in Totness.
It is hoped that expansion will create 1000 jobs – an economic windfall for a rapidly growing region.
The returns to a local economy from value adding to its primary production are many times greater than the returns from the original product.
The recent State Government’s Regional Development Grants – issued to investing companies wanting to grow their businesses and create jobs – are a useful tool in highlighting such opportunities and cementing this region’s economic future.
Such grants give small businesses the confidence to expand and allow them to grow to the next level.
That level not only creates more jobs and economic stability, but success breeds success and has the potential to attract like-minded and positive entrepreneurs culminating in Mt Barker establishing a high-end primary production manufacturing hub.
The clean, green paddocks are on our doorstep and the region’s reputation is already well established.
Appropriate planning, co-ordination and support is the next step.