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Dick Smith gives food business to the church

  1. COMMENT: Dick Smith gives food business to the church
    12:05, Thursday, 30 May 2002

    By Ralph Wragg ... RWE Publisher
    Sydney - Thursday - May 30: The irrepressible Dick Smith has
    given away his food company to Sanitarium Health Food Company, the
    business arm of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
    He's given Sanitarium a 10-year licence on the basis that he's
    able to continue to look after his charities which have already received
    $1.3 million earned by Dick Smith Foods since the business began 18
    months ago.
    "Sanitarium is going to do the advertising, marketing and
    distribution and I hope they do well," Smith told me yesterday.
    "They think the way I do being a non-profit organisation.
    Since selling his Dick Smith Electronics chain to Woolies in the
    1980s for $25 million, Smith successfully established Australian
    Geographic and then sold it to John Fairfax in 1995.
    In starting Dick Smith Foods, his main objective was to promote
    Australian food product makers with the loyalty slogan - buy Australian.
    However, his latest move has drawn criticism from some of the
    multinational competitors who say Sanitarium has an unfair advantage
    because it pays no tax.
    There won't be too many bleeding hearts for that little
    assertion.
    Dick brushes the criticism off as a lot of nonsense in the same
    way as his matches name - Dickheads - got up the nose of the Swedish
    company which produces Redheads.
    Besides, Sanitarium is an Australian-registered company.
    Smith added, "The new team managing Dick Smith Foods will
    continue to utilise the production facilities and other expertise of a
    wide range of Australian-owned manufacturers."
    Dick Smith asks himself the question: "What am I going to do
    after this?
    "I think I might retire although at the moment I'm working on
    some aviation documents".
    Dick says he is still experimenting with his chocolate solar dog
    down on the farm.
    He has the idea of using solar-powered robots in place of real
    dogs which now have been banned from Antarctica.
    Despite what Smith says at present, it would be surprising if
    this was the end of his business life.
    And I am still not sure whether he is pulling my leg about
    inventing a solar chocolate dog.

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