The Faces of King River: Getting to know John

King River is a dynamic team of farming families plus operational and leadership staff working to bring premium Wagyu to Australia and the world. One of those passionate team members is John, King River’s key account manager. If you are a King River client or have ever investigated the opportunity to work with us, there’s a good chance you’ve spoken to John; so we thought it was time to give him a proper introduction to our King River network.

Based in the Brisbane King River office, John describes his career before the Wagyu industry as “not very exciting” but says that everything changed when he was introduced to King River. 

“My first impression of King River Wagyu was that it was exceptional. I was introduced to the products before I started and I’ve been passionate about this product ever since”. 

As a child, John dreamt of becoming a chef or a sports star. While he watches more sports than he plays these days, John has maintained his passion for cooking and loves that he can incorporate his interest in food into his daily work. He says, “the most exciting part of my role is the customers I work with. It’s pretty special to see the end result of our product – what they do with the Wagyu, how they present it or create new dishes, and how it differs in each market across the globe.”

Outside of work, John likes to watch sport and read books. While it’s got nothing to do with the beef, he always has time for a classic novel like Lord of the Rings and despite their struggling 2024 season, John is a long-time loyal South Sydney Rabbitohs supporter. He’ll wear the jersey every week, even if it’s just in commiseration. When it comes to really winding down though, John says his favourite way to relax is “with a glass of wine and a piece of Wagyu. What else is there to say?” Throughout his life, John has learnt many things from his career, but the most valuable to him is to “surround yourself with people who are positive and want to move forward. Our relationships with the King River families and customers are key to our success. And that’s what keeps me going.”

John says there is a commonality between the types of clients who love to work with King River. “Our business, and the business of our customers, is relationship-based. We don’t have a lot of transactional-based clients. All our clients want to build both their brand and our brand, ultimately working together to improve the experience for end consumers.” John says the strength of the customer experience with King River is the close-knit team in the background working towards the same goal of creating a streamlined, reliable supply with strong relational support. 

Though no two days are the same, John’s primary role is to know customers’ markets and meet their needs. “The difference in our customer experience is the ability to have a conversation and connect with the King River team. They can ask us a question about any market at any time of the day, and we’ll usually have a response. And if we don’t have the answer right away, we’ll make sure we find it.” 

When it comes to King River Wagyu, John’s passion is the flavour. While brands can have “all the bells and whistles”, if the Wagyu doesn’t stand the taste test, then people aren’t going to come back. John loves that he can represent a brand that he believes not only does business well but provides a stunning (and tasty!) product. 

So what does the future of King River Wagyu look like from John’s perspective? He reflects, “Australian Wagyu is building. It already has a strong name, and it’s continuing to grow. As for King River, we have markets opening up, we are producing more, and there is constant demand. There is so much opportunity in front of us, and I’m excited to keep growing with our current and future clients.”