Superior Minerals director Lawrence Alloo (left) and
manager David Hoseason-Smith at the company's Mosgiel base.
Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
At Mosgiel-based Superior Minerals, manager David
Hoseason-Smith says it is ''not just about selling
The company was recently named Otago and lower South Island
regional winner in the fastest-growing manufacturer category
in the Deloitte Fast 50.
Superior Minerals was established in 2001 to ''provide a
point of difference'' in the marketplace for solid
fertiliser, director Lawrence Alloo said.
They wanted to sell solutions that fitted with the needs of
crops and soils, which were all different between farms.
Mr Alloo likened it to baking a cake - ''you keep adding
three ingredients and you need eight, you'll end up with a
terrible-tasting cake'' - and saying it was no different when
it came to feeding soil.
Since establishment, staff numbers had grown from two to 11
and the business now covered the South Island, with the
northern-most customer in Karamea, although its territory was
predominantly from Canterbury south.
The business had grown more than 50% in the past two years
and the aim was to double growth in the next two years, Mr
It was ''bulging at the seams'' at the current premises and
was looking to move into larger premises.
Mr Alloo acknowledged it was a very competitive industry but
it was also a results-based industry and if farmers did not
see a difference from what they were spending, then ''they
won't have us back''.
''We're growing because they want us back,'' he said. The
company prided itself on providing one-on-one customer
service and working with the farmers and their budgets.
Farmers knew their farm better than anybody else and
sometimes it might only involve a ''slight tweak'' in advice
to make a difference. Staff worked very closely measuring the
performance of what was applied, he said.
Whether it was blueberries or cherries, grapes, grass or
lucerne that was being grown, the results were ''starting to
talk for themselves'', Mr Alloo said. One cherry grower had
seen his percentage of export-grade cherries increase from
20% to 50% since using Superior Minerals, he said.
Mr Hoseason-Smith, who previously worked with multinational
packaging company Amcor in Australia for many years, said the
main attraction for joining Superior Minerals was the
customer base - he enjoyed dealing with farmers.
The company had five representatives on the road and it was
likely several more would be taken on next year. Investment
in plant was also required to keep up with the growth.
As the business grew, extra plants might have to be
established further up the South Island and then, the next
step would be the North Island.
Australia also presented opportunities.
''There's no reason why our solutions couldn't go offshore,''
Mr Hoseason-Smith said.