Less Talk, More Action

Newly elected Baking Equipment Suppliers Association (BESA) president, David Van Rooy talks to Australian Baking Business about equipment suppliers taking action to improve the industry.

Industry change is in the air, if Van Rooy Machinery director, David Van Rooy (pictured) has his way. Recently elected as BESA president, Mr Van Rooy has already instigated an industry survey, driven working-group proposals and taken on a “put up or shut-up” approach.

“I’ve lobbed a few hand grenades and seen if we can stir things up a bit because it’s a good cause. (BESA) is a good thing and I think it deserves the attention of the equipment suppliers,” Mr Van Rooy told AustralianBaking Business

Mr Van Rooy is joined in BESA’s committee leadership by Moffat national sales manager – bakery equipment, Tony McNab, who has taken on the role of vice-president.

“He’s got a lot of contacts… having Moffat under him definitely brings a lot of clout, a lot of broad exposure, so that’s a big plus. And he’s a nice fellow too,” Mr Van Rooy said.

The equipment supplier said it was time for the industry to get out of its “comfort zone” and start dealing with critical industry issues. BESA now has two working groups, one focused on bakery equipment safety standards and the other on baking events.

Poorly worded Australian Standards and an influx of cheap equipment that do not comply with local standards are a threat to Australian manufacturers, Mr Van Rooy said.

“The biggest cause of concern for us overall… is there’s a lot of very, very cheap equipment coming out of China that’s being sold through the auction houses. So, BESA has a vested interest in stopping that because, financially, we’re losing sales to them,” he explained.

As the equipment is being sold through auction houses, it doesn’t need to comply to Australian standards.

“So if you buy it through me, I have to make sure it complies to all our standards here – electrical, gas, safety, wiring… and if I don’t (and) someone gets injured, I’m in strife.”

BESA’s second focus will be the future of Australian trade shows.

“So whether, we say, ‘Fine Foods is the best exhibition group and we’re with them’, or whether it’s FSA, or neither of the above… there’s a few options there for us,” Mr Van Rooy said.

“I’ve got mixed feelings personally about the trade shows. I don’t think they are offering value for money right now and that’s for a number of reasons. If you look at pure return on investment, I’m not seeing it there,” he said.

“That’s more a Van Rooy Machinery (comment) then a BESA comment, but if the trade shows get back to where they should be, and potentially could be… you know, there’s talk of, ‘Let’s make it something that worth going to’.”

Mr Van Rooy said he is dedicated to improving the baking industry due to generations of family involvement.

“I‘ve been in this caper all my life. My father was a baker, my grandfather was a baker, so I tend to view the industry a little more than just a business. For me its more about family, it’s more about, ‘That’s who we are as a bakery industry’,” he said.

“On top of that I want to do things better for the industry (and) that does help us in the long run anyway. (Van Rooy Machinery) has some new staff too, which is giving me a bit more freedom to do stuff like this, which is great. So it’s just an opportune time.”

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