It was the Pilbara’s turn to play host to the Local Buying Program’s signature event – Meet the Buyer. Reaching capacity for both venues, it was an opportunity for small, local and Indigenous businesses to discuss their capabilities with BHP Buyers from the region. This gives suppliers the opportunity to showcase their capabilities and discuss how they can help support the operations of BHP.
Earlier in the week, Newman welcomed more than 30 local and Indigenous businesses. Pitching to 60 BHP Buyers, they were able to discuss their products and services, resulting in great conversations and positive feedback on how innovative and important events such as Meet the Buyer are to communities such as Newman.
Annabelle Blom, General Manager of Jimblebar Mine, emphasised the significance of the Local Buying Program (LBP) in boosting the Pilbara’s growth and connecting Indigenous suppliers to BHP. Her insights shed light on the Program’s history and BHP’s integral role in supporting local and Indigenous businesses.
During the event, the announcement of the Western Australia Trading Tracks initiative by Terry Beath and Judd Harris from Indigenous Management Group (IMG), in collaboration with the Local Buying Foundation and BHP, was well received. Notably, half of the suppliers present were Indigenous businesses, and the new initiative aims to support their growth and success in the Pilbara community.
In Port Hedland, the auditorium was filled with conversations from over 120 attendees. 35 suppliers set up a booth and discussed the future of the community, as well as their capacity and capability of supplying to BHP. Keynote speaker Cindy Dunham, General Manager of Port, emphasised the program’s advantages, highlighting the importance of the Local Buying Program and how it connects local, small and Indigenous businesses to BHP.
“As an up-and-coming company, we’re grateful to the numerous individuals who have given businesses like ours the chance to engage directly with BHP leaders. We aspire to make a positive impact on your community, just as you’ve done for ours. We eagerly anticipate the next opportunity to collaborate!” – Bugardi (via Facebook)
These Meet the Buyer events not only serve as crucial platforms for local businesses but also as catalysts for community development, fostering a stronger, more resilient Pilbara community. The positive feedback received underscores the significance of such initiatives in supporting the region’s economic and social health.
“It was great to meet the providers and suppliers in the area, and in turn this provided us with network opportunities that will certainly be beneficial in our further growth into BHP and other stakeholders. Can you please reach out to us for further events, as I can see this is an important format for our organisation moving forward.” – Carl Farnbach, Senior Supervisor, Aus Projects WA.