A Day In The Life Of…

06 May 2014
2 min read
David Beak produces sausages with meat from the Australian Hunter Valley. He tells us what makes his gourmet sausages so special.

I generally get up at 5am and jump on my bike. During the week I do 30kms and I do up to 180kms over the weekend. Being on my bike it the best time for clearing my brain, getting organised and de-stressing. I find that if I stay super fit, then during the most stressful times I can stay reasonably relaxed and can sleep well as I am physically tired. I also love eating and trying all the delicious products that we are continually developing so keeping myself fit enables me to be able to eat what I like and burn it off.

What makes our sausages so great is that we actually scoured the world for the best sausage manufacturing techniques. We found that most people start with trying to produce sausage with what’s left over but we started from the position of what would make the best sausage and then went out to find the best meat in Australia which was from the Hunter Valley. We use not parts of the carcass, but the whole carcass. By starting with the best raw materials rather than things that are left over, you make a quantum leap in quality. After26 years of business we launched our first brand, Beak & Sons Gourmet Sausages, as we believed that we had a significant unique selling proposition that we could build a brand around. We use only top quality grass-fed beef from the lush Hunter Valley, of New South Wales, to produce a premium sausage with a high meat content. Both the high quality and high meat content contribute to the meaty texture and the superior taste of Beak & Sons sausages, and as well as being loaded with beef and flavour, the sausages are super juicy, gluten-free, MSG-free and free of artificial additives. Along with being great tasting, the sausages are great value, which is why they are so appealing to consumers.

Having started the business 28 years ago I am now going through a transition at work. I have two very competent managing directors, one that runs our Raw Division and one that runs our Cooked Division. So my days have changed from being in back-to-back meetings to seeing how I can best support our MDs with their key projects. I am still very passionate about product development, so I always pop into R&D a couple of times a day to taste what the chefs are developing or to discuss new techniques that we are using to make absolutely the best fresh meat products or fresh meals or soups. I am continually scanning world food trends and the latest offers from M&S, Waitrose, Wholefoods, Wegmans and Sainsbury’s who I believe are the leaders in fresh meal development in the world. The industry is changing so fast so it is all about positioning your business development and strategies to where you think the consumer is going.

The most satisfying thing I find in the business is seeing our people develop beyond where they ever expected they would be. I am passionate about developing our teams, and the culture of our business from the traditional autocratic leadership we had to a flattened empowered organisation. Changing the culture is certainly something that takes a long time, but I find it very satisfying trying to support this change and seeing wonderful people develop professionally and excel in their roles. We do have the best teams in Australia in fresh meat production and in soup and meals production, these teams are getting better and better the more they become empowered.