In brief: Tim Reid

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With Tim Reid, managing director of sixth generation family business, Reid Fruits.

I was inspired to join the family business because ...
I grew up in an orchard and used to watch my father, grandfather and uncle work in the orchard. And I’d walk through the crop with them just prior to harvest and would see the great deal of pleasure they got from growing a good crop of fruit – the fruit of their labour. I used to find that an inspiration and thought I’d like to do that too, like my dad and my granddad.

The unique challenges faced by family businesses are ...
Separating family from business. Sometimes it’s really difficult making decisions about the roles and responsibilities of family members – it would be much easier if you were more distant from them.

The most fulfilling part of being in a family business is ...
It’s been more than a business in the local community, and we’ve carried a fair degree of social responsibility in the community. It’s been very fulfilling to make that contribution.

One of the toughest things about taking over the family business was…
Having the family working together we had an informal process for bouncing ideas off one another on the best way forward. I found it very difficult when I first became principle of the business, after my father and uncle retired, and I missed their input into the decision-making process. I found it a bit challenging making fairly major business decisions without their experience and knowledge to provide that support and advice – having the Board of Directors in place has replaced that, to a large extent.

I see my business in the future ...
I would like to think Reid Fruits or at least the Reid family name is involved in the industry in Australia for another 150 years – and still family involvement in some level in the business, to acknowledge, in some way, the work of previous family generations.

I am proud to be part of my family business because …
We have a very proud heritage in the business, right from the beginning. Each generation of our family has really worked for the next generation.

Best piece of advice …
My grandfather told me over 40 years ago that you shouldn’t become attached to your assets: ‘If you can make more money out of doing something else, you should do so.’ That was a key point that affected me the most in my decision-making process over the years.

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