Former Silver Fern Farms CEO On Adjusting From Meat To Wine, Enduring Change + More

Former Silver Fern Farms CEO On Adjusting From Meat To Wine, Enduring Change + More

It's always interesting to see where the dust settles when a CEO or someone of that ilk leaves their post and goes on to something new. Simon Limmer recently stepped down from his role as CEO of Silver Fern Farms and is now heading up one of New Zealand's leading producers of high-quality wine, Indevin.

He talks to Dom George about his experiences of leadership during periods of change and the challenges of entering the US market with New Zealand wines. 

Limmer discusses his transition from leading Silver Fern Farms for six years to his new role at Indevin, noting the contrasts and similarities between the meat and wine industries. 

"Six years is probably about right, particularly in an industry that is pretty demanding," he reflects, emphasising the demands of the meat industry and how they differ from the nuanced wine sector. 

He acknowledges the challenges faced during his tenure, including the global pandemic and market volatility, which led to an intense period of managing Silver Fern Farms. Limmer expresses optimism for the future of New Zealand wines, citing Indevin's innovative approach in a competitive market and the unique characteristics of New Zealand wine that give it an edge. 

"The fundamentals between meat and wine, I think, remain the same... You've just got to be really focused on delivering top-quality products to consumers and listening to them really, really hard," he explains, highlighting the importance of staying attuned to consumer preferences. 

The conversation also delves into the strategic expansion into the US market, where Limmer describes the different consumer demographics and regional tastes that New Zealand wines must cater to. From California's vine enthusiasts to New York's cosmopolitan sippers, and even the vibrant markets of Texas and Florida, understanding these varied preferences is crucial for successful market penetration. 

"You know, the US is a pretty big place and very, very different from east to west, from north to south," Limmer states, illustrating the diversity of the American wine landscape. 

As he prepares for an exploratory trip across the US, he carries with him the mission of ensuring New Zealand wines resonate with the diverse palette of American consumers. 

With his strategic mindset and wealth of industry knowledge, Limmer's leadership appears poised to steer Indevin toward cultivating success in the challenging yet promising American markets. 

Listen to the full chat between Simon Limmer and Dominic George above.

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