Bonaccord evolved from humble beginnings in 1960 when Max and Kath Ingram left Timbarra, northwest of Buchan, in search of irrigated land. They bought a 54 acres (20ha) dairy farm on the Mitchell River flats for $408 per acre (204 pounds). The dairy herd increased from the initial 40 head to 80 head of dairy cows in the first few years.
By 1970, Max and Kath had 5 boys, 4 of whom are now the hands-on managers of the businesses. Ross runs the office and marketing, Keith is in charge of the packing shed and personnel, Gerald is in charge of harvesting and machinery maintenance and Murray manages the ground preparation and livestock. Good communication and an understanding of their own role as well as each others is vital.
Vegetables were first grown on the Bonaccord farm in 1975, to supplement the dairy income. With the success of this first crop came an increase in vegetable production over the next few years and by 1985 the decision was made to sell the dairy cows and concentrate on full time vegetable growing.
Disposing of off-cuts or any vegetable which does not meet consumer demand, has allowed Bonaccord to invest in livestock, as a way of utilising surplus.
These days the farm is a major contributor to the East Gippsland economy. The farm has grown from the initial 54 acres to the current 3,000 in vegetable production today. An approximate 22,000 tonnes of produce moves off the farm annually, 80% of which goes into NSW, with the remainder going to Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. Up to 260 people are employed during peak production to produce, harvest, package and transport the final product.
The Bonaccord name was derived from the lane on which the original block of land was purchased.
Bonaccord prides itself on quality and excellent customer service to achieve the highest outcome possible. Its success is due to the following factors.
- Solid foundations
- Good communication
- Love doing what we do
- Taking opportunities as they arise
- Minimising risks
- Lead by example
- Hard work and dedication