THE State’s top exporters have been recognised at this year’s Western Australian Industry and Export Awards with Albany sandalwood producer Mt Romance winning the prestigious premier’s award for excellence.
The awards recognise outstanding achievements in industry and export and are the sector’s leading awards in Western Australia.
While they highlight innovation and business prowess, the awards also demonstrate that operating a business from one of the most remote locations on the planet is no barrier to success.
For many of this year’s winners contacted by WA Business News, the awards recognise not only the hard work of staff, but also provide credibility, raise the profile of the company (as opposed to the product) and attract high-quality job applicants.
Winner of the premier’s award announced last week, Mt Romance, also won the regional exporter of the year award and the small to medium manufacturer export award. The company is now a finalist in the National Export Awards to be held in Sydney in December.
Mt Romance managing director and founder Steve Birkbeck said growth had been strong for the company, which included the world’s largest and most prestigious perfume manufacturers among its customers.
Mt Romance, he said, was the only Australian company that supplied the major perfume houses.
Mr Birkbeck said Mt Romance had trebled its performance in the past few years to reach a net profit of $1 million last year.
“We’ve positioned ourselves to target the luxury perfume market,” he told WA Business News.
“We have sold our State and nation in a bottle – our indigenous culture and our environmental strengths.”
The company works with Estee Lauder and Loreal to develop perfume products, along with the majority of the top five manufacturers and luxury perfumes.
Secondary markets for Mt Romance’s products include the Middle East (a business coordinated out of Dubai), India and across Asia, including Singapore, China and Japan.
Mr Birkbeck said while it was an honour to receive all three awards, the company was particularly proud of the regional exporter award.
“It’s the award we won last year. It is something we identify very strongly with from a socio-economic standpoint,” he said.
Mr Birkbeck said the advantages of entering the Industry and Export Awards included the work that went into the application.
“The template you create is invaluable. The whole process you go through is like a mini business planning process, so it allows you to ‘regroup’, which is of particularly benefit to smaller companies that may not have to produce material for AGMs, for example,” he said.
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