Huon Aquaculture (Huon) is Australia’s second largest producer of Atlantic salmon. Huon was founded in 1986 by husband and wife team, Peter and Frances Bender, and has since grown to employ 550 people across Australia and produce 21,000 tonnes of Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout annually.
Following a visit to North America in 2013, Huon CEO Peter Bender embarked on a $200 million infrastructure investment. The resulting Controlled Growth Strategy (CGS) is a suite of infrastructure projects, newly developed practices and other operational changes. These include: the introduction of a well boat, the design and construction of new feed systems and feed barges, design and construction of Huon’s Fortress Pens, and the relocation of marine farming leases to offshore sites. The strategy was implemented over a three-year period, with each infrastructure project involving technologies new to aquaculture, necessitating large scale changes to farming operations.
Implementation was designed in a serious of roll-outs permeated by employee consultation to ensure that existing farming operations were maintained. The highly innovative nature of the involved technologies required an element of trial and error throughout the implementation phase. Optimising each technology and ensuring that each project was custom built to the Tasmanian environment was thus driven by Huon employees at all levels of the business. Establishing a dedicated projects team was crucial to successful implementation. It was also important to ensure that the aims and details of each project were effectively communicated to all employees. As such, employees were able to assess the outcomes of newly installed infrastructure and provide feedback which provided significant benefit to the overall implementation of the CGS.
The implementation of their Controlled Growth Strategy has resulted in better production outcomes for Huon, as well as safer workplace environments for employees. Many of the technologies developed by Huon in the implementation of the CGS have now also received international patents. The development and successful implementation of their Controlled Growth Strategy has seen Huon Aquaculture recognised with a Business Innovation Award in the Australian Business Awards 2016.
The Australian Business Awards are the regional chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership program conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations from each region are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards. Conducted annually and currently in the second year of its international launch, The World Business Awards seeks to engage with the world’s business, innovation and technology leaders through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework. The program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance. The cycle culminates in the recognition and celebration of organisations that implement world-class business initiatives and industry leading products and services on a prominent and far-reaching scale. All entries must be entered in the regional chapter where the organisation is based.
Organisational participation includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multinational subsidiaries, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.
Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.
Entries are assessed utilising a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.
Organisations that participate are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally. The recipients are acknowledged for their achievements and recognised as the elite of their industry earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their products, projects, initiatives, contributions and achievements recognised on a prominent and far-reaching scale. The program provides the ultimate platform for building knowledge, increasing brand awareness, equity, loyalty and retention through increased exposure, recognition and prestige. This establishes a valuable resource that can be used extensively to create opportunities for publicity, positive organisational profiling and heightened brand awareness within the respective industries both nationally and internationally.