Tell us about your business
Farmer’s Market opened in Hong Kong in 2016 and launched in Singapore in 2019 with the aim to provide a source of reliable, responsible and affordable, home-delivered Australian and New Zealand meat and seafood to consumers. We are very open about where our products are sourced from and we want to educate our customers so they know what to look for when they are buying meat products. We talk about everything from grading, growing, traceability, development of the animal right down to cutting and cooking methods.
What’s your role all about?
Gosh, I think my role is a bit of everything when it comes down to it. As a serial entrepreneur you kind of get used to being a CEO as well as a packer and really you just need to fit in daily to what is happening. My main role is more along the lines of sales and marketing and I can focus on that as I have a great team behind me doing the day-to-day tasks.
What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?
I think more and more people are aware that eating a large amount of meat daily isn’t a good idea for their health and the environment. However, this then goes to the extreme and people think they need to give up eating meat altogether to save themselves and the environment which isn’t the case. Then you have some “vegetarian” brands out there pushing their burger patties and sausages as meat alternatives, but there is so much sodium in those products that it’s questionable whether it’s better for health and their environmental footprint can be bigger than people realize too.
Personally, I try to educate people that yes you should eat less meat BUT more importantly you should eat quality meat. If you are going from eating meat 7 days a week from the supermarket to eating meat 3 days a week, then buy better meat. The amount of hormones and antibiotics in some supermarket meat is worse for you than eating meat 7 days a week. There’s also a massive difference in the environmental impact of factory-farmed meat versus the sustainably, naturally farmed meat that Farmer’s Market sells. I guess what I’m saying is try to eat less meat but better meat rather than give up altogether, and this is a conversation that comes up a lot.
Being a “serial entrepreneur” as you call yourself do you have any plans for any new business’ in Singapore?
Actually yes, I just launched Free Spirit with Rebecca Forwood. I’m always thinking and looking for different opportunities and during Covid I found a lot of people were staying home and turning to bad habits of drinking more than usual, and I was one of them. So as restrictions eased in Singapore, I decided to give up drinking for a bit to get healthier but struggled to get decent alcohol-free drinks, especially when I was out and about. So I’ve opened ‘Singapore’s first alcohol-free bottle shop’ with the hope to change this. We have an online retail shop at www.freespirit.com.sg and aim to have an alcohol-free option – beers, wines and spirits – in 50% of bars and restaurants by 2023.
Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?
I’m a member of AustCham as I find for a small business the support the chamber gives is for all levels. Even though I’m not a massive company with 100 plus staff I feel that the Chamber treats all members equally, which is great for a small business owner. The networking, support, guidance is all given with no questions asked. I also like the fact that more and more SME focus groups and attention is coming out from the Chamber.
What are your favorite weekend activities in Singapore?
I’m a bit of a sports freak so I love to play any sport I can any day of the week from tennis to go-karting to golf and more, followed by food and drinks in boutique places like Haji Lane or Duxton Hill. My kids are now at the age where we can do that as a family, which is great!
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and why?
As boring as it sounds I think I’d definitely take a trip home to see family and friends. It’s been a difficult year being told you can’t leave the country you are in for any reason and I think cabin fever has set in and I need to get home to Sydney, go to the beach and just hang out for a bit.
How old were you when you started your first business?
I left school at the age of 15 and started my first business at the age of 16 called “Emma’s Typing Services”, original I know! I used to type essays for uni students and then started to hire people to type for me and ended up with 22 employees at the age of 22 before selling the business to a recruitment company.
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For more information on Farmer’s Market, visit www.farmersmarket.com.sg