Moorabool Valley Eggs is one of Victoria’s biggest egg producers and distributors. CEO Todd Menegola talks to us about how Nexia is helping this family owned business transition for the future.
Moorabool Valley Eggs, and its marketing and distribution arm, Egg Marketing Australia Pty Ltd, is a traditional family owned business that has been in the egg game since the 1950s. Moving 10 million eggs per month, the business operates a fully integrated supply chain, from production through to retail and wholesale distribution, throughout Victoria and interstate.
The business began on a small farm in Queenscliff before moving to Meredith in the Moorabool Valley, and from there it has grown into the large operation it is today.
50 staff are responsible for the care and maintenance of a staggering 340,000 laying birds, along with 160,000 pre-laying age chicks at any given time.
Those staff are also responsible for the collection, grading, packing and quality control of those 10 million monthly eggs.
A further 15 staff, at Egg Marketing Australia are responsible for distribution to Moorabool Valley Eggs customers. It’s a remarkably fine-tuned operation, all to ensure that supermarkets, cafes and restaurants are never short of arguably our most favorite food staple.
So, while the humble egg hasn’t changed – and never will – that doesn’t mean that egg producers don’t have to.
“We’re in the most substantial transition phase that this business, and the broader industry, has probably ever seen,” CEO Todd Menegola said.
“A lot of hard work, over a number of decades, has gone into building Moorabool Valley eggs into what it is today, and we’re really proud.
“Through our Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process we now have a very organised and efficient supply-chain. It must be, to distribute that many eggs per month.
“But it’s our responsibility as a major supplier to ensure we’re well equipped for the future – and that means making some changes to the way we produce and prepare eggs.
“Over the past 18 months we’re shifting toward a far greater percentage of free range egg production – from about 10% to 45% - which naturally brings with it some serious logistical challenges.
“We’re doing this because it’s the change that our customers are demanding and we need to remain relevant to our key stake-holders to ensure Moorabool Valley Eggs future.
“Community expectations with respect to farming techniques have never been higher and we’re fully cognitive of this.”
Menegola said that while Nexia have been a trusted long-term partner, it was during the current transition that their support had been at its most invaluable.
“As a family oriented business, we’ve relied heavily on the right advice to ensure we’re in compliance with an increasingly complex regulatory environment. The larger an organisation becomes in this sector, the greater the regulatory compliance,” Menegola said.
“Nexia’s Vito Interlandi sits on our advisory board, providing a really important independent oversight into our strategic decision making. That kind of service from a partner is important, and goes above and beyond regular service provision.
“Together with compliance, Nexia help us with governance, financial management, taxation advice, as well as assisting with defining our strategic direction.
“It’s important not to understate the broad scope of a transformation like this. Transitioning more birds from cage to free range is a major capital investment, and Nexia have been vital in assisting with fine tuning our budgets and ensuring we’re following this process in the leanest possible way.
“The transition goes beyond infrastructure. We’ve refreshed all our brands to reflect a more modern and contemporary look and feel to support our growth and we want our customers to come with us on this journey.
“All of this is critical to our future and delivering the change while maintaining business as usual is no mean feat. It would certainly be a lot harder to achieve without the generational knowledge and expertise Nexia have with respect to our business.”