Laura Berry, Head of Community Government and Corporate Affairs
Qantas - Supply Nation Member Since October 2009
Brendan Meddings, Business Development Manager,
Yaru Water - Supply Nation Certified Since May 2011
Laura Berry - Qantas
As soon as we saw Yaru water we were impressed. To start off with it’s a great product because it tastes really lovely and the design is appealing. We really liked it and we wanted to incorporate it wherever we could in Qantas.
At the moment we use it in all our executive meetings and boardrooms and that is a good showcase for the product. It’s an excellent talking point that often breaks the ice at important meetings. The bottle looks different so it often sparks a conversation and that gives us the chance to mention our relationship with Supply Nation and Indigenous businesses.
We are also using Yaru water increasingly for Qantas events, and we’ve introduced Kyle Slabb and Brendan Meddings to our events team. One great thing that Yaru water has going for it is that their people like Kyle and Brendan are so personable. It makes it easy to form relationships that will be sustainable and necessary for long-term partnerships. They are so enthusiastic and always accommodating and interested in our requirements.
These good relationships mean that they will hear when and where future opportunities come up, and they will be well placed to tender.
While we are very pleased with Yaru water as a product, it has been beneficial to have some time to develop the relationship and allow Yaru time to develop as a business.
A good example of that has been the fact that they are currently professionalising their distribution channels. We actually just heard from Brendan at Yaru and he said they have professionalised the distribution side of things and they now have a nationwide distribution system so they can ship to wherever we need it and with more flexibility for what we require.
This is the kind of progress that enables partnerships with large organisations like Qantas to succeed.
Brendan Meddings - Yaru Water
We started Yaru with a specific vision: to create a successful business in order to support Indigenous youth programs.
To achieve this Kyle Slabb (Director) was clear right from the start – we had to exceed expectations. It became the motto we all worked by.
When Yaru water was chemically analysed it was so flawless and clear it was defined as a premium – as pure as the best water in the world.
The Bundjalung Nation has always had great respect for this water as “our living water” and we owed it to this respect and the quality of the water to be as professional as possible.
We worked very hard on this for 18 months before we took the product to the market.
Laura Berry and the Qantas team have been great. Laura gave us the confidence and belief that we would succeed. Actually she has helped us way beyond Qantas, with referrals and introductions to other Supply Nation Members. She has worked with us and has been a real champion and supporter for Yaru and also for Supply Nation.
Probably our biggest challenge so far has been distribution. You can’t use an average courier service; you have to be accepted by a major distributor. To be accepted we had to prove that our systems achieved the professionalism they demand. We are now at the stage where we can deliver a carton of water from our farm at Mt Warning to anywhere in Australia.
Outsourcing and streamlining this aspect of our service has all been part of our goal to exceed our clients’ expectations. This is particularly important because Supply Nation introduces us to major corporations who want to deal with suppliers who can distribute nationally and meet the highest standards.
The support from the corporate world has amazed us and Supply Nation connections have clearly been a major part of our success. We understand it is important for us to maintain the highest level of professionalism to continue to meet our customers’ needs and grow our business.