AgTech and Soil Science with Dr Darren Hughes

Dr Darren Hughes met with 120 different investors during the first investment round of his AgTech company, Laconik. Since then, the total raise has pushed through AUD$1 million and has the support of venture capitalists and government.

Prior to Laconik, Darren held technical and management roles over a 20 year career as an agronomist.

He shares a tough story about his first industry job in the US, comes from a 4th generation family farm and aims to ‘explore ways to feed the world through science’.


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Happy Eggs with John O’Hara

There aren’t many Australians unfamiliar with the smiley-faced eggs that Sunny Queen are known for.

Managing Director, John O’Hara joined the team over 17 years ago and has seen it grow from a one-channel, one product business, to the multi-faceted company he leads, turning over $350 million and employing 140 people.

With a $40 million food service factory and $800k omelette-only robotics line, Sunny Queen were also recognised by Canstar Blue as the No.1 Australian egg brand for consumer satisfaction.


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Backing Beef with James Madden

This is NOT an episode for vegans. We tread some polarising ground with animal welfare and veganism with James Madden, who explains why his company’s vision to ‘cultivate a better food world’ sees meat on the table.

Over a number of years, James has worked alongside his father, to shape what was originally a boutique lamb brand, into the portfolio his food service and meat distribution company, Flinders and Co. represents today.  


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Not The Bat And Ball with Skye Blackburn

This ‘cricket’ doesn’t involve a bat and ball. It’s the insect that’s creeping in from Eastern cuisines. 

Skye Blackburn farms them, just outside of Sydney (with her business, Edible Bug Shop – the largest edible insect farm in Australia) and is currently expanding to a much larger site, due to their demand. 

She has a strong position on edible bugs and the future of insect farming – as an alternative protein and culinary ingredient.


For more episodes, follow the program wherever you get your podcasts.