Some people have a vibrant energy about them that you can’t help but like, and today’s guest is one of those people. Judah Rowe is a serial innovator and a key player in two family-owned businesses, Hybrid-Ag and Vard Group.
Hybrid-Ag ‘transforms food for health’ by providing quality nutrients for the agricultural sector, and Vard Group was born out of the Covid-19 outbreak, initially supplying hand sanitiser, and now manufacturing a range of cleaning products.
As you’ll hear on the podcast, the two businesses are more closely related than you might think.
Enjoy this episode with the very infectious and uplifting Judah Rowe.
Co-founding Hybrid-Ag and taking on the role of Sales Director
Primary responsibilities include business development, product development and account management
Hybrid-Ag is a family-owned business and specialises in fertiliser supply
They provide nutrients for the horticultural market with a stated purpose of transforming food for health
Vard Group is a startup that has emerged out of Hybrid-Ag
The fertilizer business makes use of polymers and surfactants, which are used a lot in the cleaning industry
The market for hand sanitiser, brought on by Covid-19, led to an opportunity to start production of this as a new product for the business and to branch out into cleaning products
This led to the establishment of The Vard Group as a spin-off business
Despite a massive influx of cheaper product from China, they have since been able to match that price, producing the product here in Australia
Vard Group has an added advantage of not being at the mercy of the same supply-chain logistics issues that importers have
Judah considers an accident he had at the age of nine a blessing, even though it left him in a wheelchair
It prompted Judah to adopt a philosophy to live life to the fullest
He and his two brothers grew up in Melbourne then the family moved to Wangaratta in North-East Victoria when he was in his teens
He quickly developed a love of country life
His father and grandfather wanted to establish a business that was recession proof so chose the food industry
Hybrid-Ag made use of an abundance of experience within the family in the agriculture, pharmaceutical (manufacturing hand and skin care products) and medical industries
The sanitiser product evolved from an existing product used as a non-toxic food wash they were using to wash cherries on their farm and that is also used as a salad vegetable wash
Vard Group focuses on commercial customers
They have leveraged the functionality of the cleaning product to provide small range of products with multiple uses
Relative to the incumbents in the cleaning industry, they have also been innovative with their branding and marketing
The ability to produce produce quickly and consistently has brought several supply contracts to the business
Within the next three years they hope to have staff in every state in Australia and distributors in New Zealand
The name Vard comes from Scandinavian languages and means care, reflecting the ethos of the family to create a clean workplace in the most caring way possible
Judah is motivated by a desire for change and has been heavily influenced by Stephen Covey and his Seven Habits of Highly-Effective People