Hugh McGilligan, From Branding Expert to Creating the Future of Farming

By James McGregor

Today’s guest is Hugh McGilligan who is the CEO at Sprout Stack, Australia’s only commercial scale vertical farm. Sprout Stack is a great example of an innovative company - it has developed a system for highly-efficient and sustainable salad production using repurposed shipping containers - they produce a range of nutritious, delicious, sustainable and locally grown salads for the Sydney market. As a youngster Hugh spent summers working in traditional agriculture, on his uncle’s farm in the UK. He then wasted a couple of decades, climbing slippery corporate poles, as a strategist, mainly in advertising, mostly in New York City. After moving to Australia and the arrival of his first child he began a reappraisal of the important things in life. He realised that, after years of helping to tell other people’s stories, it was time to write his own. For this interview I visited Sprout Stacks facility in an industrial estate on the Northern Beaches area of Sydney and we have some bonus content where we go on an audio tour of the facility at the end of the episode. In this episode we hear about Hugh’s journey from branding expert in New York City, the challenges of building an innovative urban farming business, and you will get practical advice from a branding expert on how to build a brand that your customers will love and that also does great things in the world. You can access the notes for today’s episode by simply visiting www.bluetribe.co/podcast and check out episode number 6.

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