Ray Butcher | Seedlab Australia

Ray Butcher

Retail, Operations, Business Development, Sales

Ray’s love for retail started when he was tall enough to stand on a box to serve customers over the counter in his aunt’s corner store in North London.

After completing his Business degree in UK, Ray pursued his retail dream at TESCO Supermarkets. Responsible for store management and new store openings, he lived and breathed the TESCO retail floor for 11 years. Then in 1982, Ray moved to Australia where he held various state and national roles in operations, buying and category at Australia’s largest supermarket retailer – Woolworths. During his 25 years, he developed several business units within Woolworths from start-up including fresh cut salads, fresh juice, Clover Hill fresh flowers, prepacked and self-select nuts and fruits. These start-up business units achieved over $100M in sales and contributed to $1B turnover in the Fresh Produce category.

In 2007, Ray crossed over to the supplier side with Australian Garlic Producers and helped the team win Woolworth’s coveted Supplier of the Year Award. Ray has been involved with several other companies that have also achieved this honour including Houston’s Farm (now HS Fresh Foods), Pine Valley Flowers and twice with Max Baker Potatoes.

Today, Ray is a Non-Executive Director at HS Fresh Foods and a consultant at Inoplus Pty Ltd, providing his wisdom to food, beverage and agriculture businesses.

Ray believes that small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, fuelling innovation and employment growth.

He has a passion for the environment and all creatures, supporting charities such as the Sheldrick Foundation for Elephants in Kenya, World Wildlife Fund, Four Paws International, Tasmanian Devil program and the Victorian Koala program.

Ray is a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.