Even so, ANZ Commercial & Agri General Manager John Bennett says it takes courage to make bold decisions and it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
“Critical to considering different options for any business is having insights and good information about the industry dynamics and business models of the sectors that you’re looking at,” Bennett says.
“Combine this with the industry networks that the Ealam family were able to tap into, the debt structuring expertise and access to specialists and it made the decision easier.”
Bennett says to respond to change in customer and market needs farmers need to be flexible and not afraid to change the business models their parents or grandparents had. Innovation is about technologies, crops and how they're financed.
For the Ealam family the land still needs to support Cam, his parents and his retired grandparents, who all still live on the farm. So they’ll continue milking but plan to reduce the herd size over time and possibly move to boutique milk supply.
There are also plans for red meat farming and cropping.
“One idea I’ve got floating around in my head is if we do stop milking cows I would love to convert our shed into a craft beer boutique bar or café,” Ealam says.
“There is a cycle trail which goes right past the farm gate which gets pretty busy and it would be great to share the story of our family, the connection to the land and how farming is evolving.”
Briar McCormack is a bluenotes contributor
Cam Ealam is also a relationship manager with ANZ NZ
You can read the ANZ Craft Beer Insights Paper HERE.