Frankie Galati: Carrying on a potato-growing legacy
Frankie Galati is a 29-year-old grower from the Galati Group in Western Australia. We profiled him in the February/March 2019 edition of Potatoes Australia magazine.
Name: Frankie Galati
Works: Galati Group
How did you first become involved in the potato industry?
I was born into the industry. The Galati Group of Companies was birthed out of a family business that started two generations before me. There is a long history of fighting for the rights of potato farmers to be able to grow sufficient produce to service the expanding market.
Your family opened the first Spudshed in Western Australia over 20 years ago. What does Spudshed provide to consumers over in the west in terms of fresh produce?
We provide good fruit and vegetables at an affordable price and value for our customers, and also continue to supply sustainable and profitable produce for the future.
What does your role as CEO involve, and what are your responsibilities?
I have a lot of responsibilities. I work across the business operationally, financially and culturally. I like to take a ‘hands-on’ approach and get involved in all aspects of the business.
What do you enjoy most about working in the potato industry, and how do you maintain your enthusiasm?
Eating potatoes! And I am grateful for all the opportunities that the industry provides for our company and the community.
What are the biggest challenges you face working in the industry, and how do you overcome them?
Finding good water availability, and also land that is suitable and feasible to grow on. The increasing costs of production keeps us focused on innovation as well as being environmentally conscious.
Where do you receive your on-farm practice advice and information from?
A whole range of resources, economists, growers and my own research. I also rely heavily on agronomists, and other agricultural specialists who keep us on the cutting edge of crop protection and efficiency of resource uptake.
You pursued a modelling career which lead you to places around the world, including Sydney, Paris, Milan and New York. Why did you decide to return to the family business?
Because I wanted to study business and chose family.
You also completed a commerce degree at Notre Dame University in Western Australia. How has this assisted you in your current role within the Spudshed business?
This degree has given me the foundation I require to oversee the financial aspects of the business as well as the ability to manage it more effectively. It has given me the professional tools to secure the future of the family business.
Where do you see opportunities for growth in the Australian potato industry?
I see opportunities for export and pushing the local market to pursue those avenues. I would also like to see the health benefits of potatoes being publicised.
Where do you see both yourself and Spudshed in five years’ time?
I see Spudshed continuing to be a sustainable business and continuing to be strong retail player. We would like to continue to provide consumers with fruit and vegetables that are of a high standard. Being sustainable and environmentally-conscious is at the core and heart of the business both now and into the future.
What is your vision for both the Western Australian and the national potato industry in the future?
A continual growth and availability of potatoes with a growth in the export market, as well as variety.
How do you think more young people could be encouraged to study and take up jobs in the potato industry?
I think my father, Tony Galati, put the Western Australian potato industry on the map and if there were more people like him, it would help bring more focus to this industry.
This grower profile first appeared in the leading magazine for the Australian potato industry, Potatoes Australia, and was featured in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 26 February 2019. If you’d like to subscribe to receive a new edition of Potatoes Australia in your mailbox every two months, use our online subscription form!
Photo credit: David Baylis, Community News