Born in England, Joe Berry came to Australia in 1919. From a varied career Joe became involved with Claude Fraser, generally known as the father of Self-Serve groceries in this country. Claude was the founder of BCC (Brisbane Cash & Carry) which was later to become the backbone of the Woolworths growth in the grocery markets.
Constantly looking for new ideas, Joe’s quest for information took him on overseas study tours, particularly the United States. He was always looking for modern fresh ideas to implement in the Australian grocery scene.
Not only did Joe contribute to the growth and development of BCC, his ideas and innovations dramatically affected the Australian industry as a whole. Many practices taken for granted today, such as the supermarket trolley, were initially developed and trialed in Australia by Joe Berry in the early 1950’s.
Open topped refrigeration was first commissioned by Joe Berry, along with pre-packed fruit and vegetables and the common “twist-tie”. Joe later developed self serve wholesale warehouses in conjunction with Tom Tickle from TWD (later QIW). All of these innovations are now common place within the industry world wide.
Joe’s involvement in the grocery trade was continued by his son John who until recently was a major part of the independent supermarket scene in this country. John talks proudly of his fathers contribution to the industry and it is for this reason that the Joe Berry Awards exist, so that innovation can continue through our young executives.
The support of the industry keeps the Joe Berry style innovation alive. Having your sponsorship and participation from the young executives in your company will keep the JBA as a premier development program for future leaders.