Show Notes

This week on the podcast, Mark chats with Hayley Purbrick, a key figure at Tahbilk Winery, one of Victoria's oldest and most esteemed wineries. Hayley, a fifth-generation winemaker, has spent a decade transforming the winery's environmental policies, achieving an impressive feat of carbon neutrality. She is an advocate for understanding data, transforming it from a burden into a tool for efficiency and sustainability.

We delve into various topics, including her latest venture focusing on empowering farmers to understand their environmental efforts and leverage the emerging opportunities in the carbon-neutral movement. With her vast experience and her passion for revitalising small towns through entrepreneurship, Hayley offers a unique perspective. Hayley now spends her time helping farmers understand their emissions at various levels. 

For many producers, it has been easy to not look too hard at their environmental impact. The concept of adding more data and paperwork to their business, for 'no return' has been unappealing to many. But it’s not all about carbon emissions, Hayley explains. "The thing about data is that it's powerful in terms of your decision-making and planning," she explains, “You can either look through a compliance lens or you can look at it through a planning lens."

Hayley suggests a reframe that empowers farmers to look forward in their business, rather than weighing them down. “We always end up starting from a decision-making/planning lens. Because if you don't understand where you're going, why you're doing your work and how that specific data supports your decision-making, compliance does feel very laborious.”

Efficiency is another key focus for Hayley, “Once you understand the data and what the data is trying to tell you, it can be a really powerful tool to show you whether your business is efficient and where the most inefficient parts of your business are.” 

Hayley's philosophy on decision-making is grounded in a simple yet powerful approach, "When people make a decision, they should ask themselves three questions: 

  1. How will this impact my bottom line?
  2. How will this impact the environment?
  3. How will this impact my animals?"

In terms of carbon, she emphasises the importance of understanding the full spectrum of emissions in a business, which goes beyond the on-farm activities to include the entire value chain of what comes on and off your farm. This offers a more comprehensive view of a business's environmental impact. "We like to know what the lion looks like in the grass behind us," explains Hayley. 

Join us in this enlightening exploration of sustainability, data and a vision of the future of agriculture. Hayley Purbrick's insights are invaluable for anyone looking to understand the complexities and opportunities in both sustainable wine production and agriculture.

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