Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer

ANDREW is Managing Director of the family-run Bulmer Farms in Lindenow, Victoria, and co-owns a retail outlet for local produce. Bulmer Farms is credited as one of Australia’s largest producers of fresh salads.
Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer Australian Farmer of the Year: Andrew Bulmer

Staff Reporter

Andrew is an instrumental leader in the business and has great insight into the company’s direction.

“Bulmer Farms’ farming footprint has grown due to our expansion into new regions and our focus on setting up the enterprise as a farm-of-the-future,” Andrew said.

“To achieve this, we needed to implement the key knowledge and learnings gained over the decades, as well as incorporating world’s best practice and the innovation available right now.”

By implementing world’s best harvest and post-harvest technology, Bulmer Farms have achieved significant efficiencies across the business. 

“Our washing and drying process has enabled us to achieve a dryer product,” Andrew said. “This has increased shelf life and opened up export opportunities through our marketing business, Green Acres Australia.” 

“This has seen a 400 per cent increase in our washed salad business over the past 18 months.

“We have also brought a new harvester from the United States, which has increased our efficiency at harvest, giving us a better product to run through our washline.”

Andrew is keen to share his knowledge and experience, providing opportunities to engage with farmers and industry at Bulmer Farms. 

“We are often part of forums or host other information seminars and field days for growers in our region,” Andrew said.

“This year we hosted the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days, which is a national vegetable field day. It allowed the top ten vegetable seed companies in Australia to showcase their varieties in an important rural and regional growing area.”

Paul Ford, Chair of Agribusiness Gippsland for whom Andrew is a board member, said Andrew’s foresight and drive has been outstanding, particularly in transforming the family’s property into a high-value, vertically integrated horticulture enterprise.

“Andrew is innovative and smart in the way he builds a large diverse network around him,” Mr Ford said. “This gives him good and balanced insights into what is happening in the horticulture sector.”

“His innovative work has extended to finding new uses for what was waste product, like cutting the once-wasted broccoli stalks into straws and producing stalk-based powders.” 

“Andrew is courageous in having the ability to really make a change. He’s able to see emerging opportunities and get on with it.”

In addition to his work with Agribusiness Gippsland, Andrew is on the Victorian Young Farmers’ Ministerial Advisory Committee and will participate in the 2017-18 Australian Rural Leadership Program.

National Farmers’ Federation Chair and 2017 Awards Independent Judge, Fiona Simson, said that while all award finalists were all doing an amazing job, Andrew stood out for his innovative thinking, diversification strategies and sustainable farming practices.

“Andrew is a true early-adopter,” Ms Simson said. “His worldwide search for best practice and emerging technology has opened him up to significant risk, but given his attention to detail and research, has proven to be an extremely successful strategy for the business.”

“It is great to see his focus on the whole supply chain, with the addition of a retail store to the enterprise enabling him to not only support his local community and fellow producers, but also engage consumers in the farming process.”

Learn more about Bulmer Farms HERE.