Entrepreneur Scottie Chapman's Diverse Journey to Ag-Success

Entrepreneur Scottie Chapman's Diverse Journey to Ag-Success

Scottie Chapman is one of those people who just aren't afraid of trying new things, growing new things or doing business in a different sort of way. He's worked in the kiwi fruit, apple cider, seaweed and sheep milk industries alongside a host of other roles and now helps others find their own purpose in their careers.

A key point of discussion revolves around Chapman's ability to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship, including the 2006 financial crisis which threatened his apple cider vinegar business. 

"We had a little product on the side called Old Mout Cider... [But] it was a pretty rough time," he says. 

His tenacity led to a pivot that transformed Old Mout Cider into a significant player in the market, culminating in its sale to DB and Heineken. Chapman's current role as Executive Director of Spring Sheep, and his governance work, are discussed with a focus on his personal mission. 

"I did a lot of work on my own personal purpose and it made me understand what I love doing and, more importantly, it made me understand what I don't want to do." 

His philosophy on leadership emphasises the necessity of listening and engaging in open dialogue to foster learning and growth, regardless of differing opinions. Another central theme is the importance of quality and branding in the global food market. Chapman speaks to New Zealand's standing alongside nations like Scandinavia and Canada, known for premium food products. 

He argues for the significance of maintaining high standards in exports to sustain demand and justify the country's position in the market. 

"We're in the tier one nations... and as long as we keep our quality up and tell a great story and play that game, we have a right to be there."

The conversation concludes with Chapman urging for a more innovative and brand-focused approach in New Zealand's food industry. He highlights the challenges in moving beyond commodities to create recognised consumer brands, a journey that he believes is vital for the nation's agricultural sector. His call to action for the industry is clear.

"Our opportunities [are] around branding, creating consumer products as opposed to ingredients, but it's something that New Zealand has not done well." 

The conversation with Scottie Chapman is rich with anecdotes and insights, offering listeners a blend of inspiration and practical advice from a seasoned entrepreneur who has made a significant impact on New Zealand's food and farming industries.

Listen to the full chat between Scottie Chapman and Dominic George above.

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