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SA entrepreneur Duncan MacGillivray dies in Bali

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Agriculture and tourism entrepreneur Duncan MacGillivray died yesterday while on holiday in Bali with his family.

The 66-year-old’s family is heading back to Australia.

He died of a heart attack just three days into the holiday.

MacGillivray was born and raised on a sheep and cattle property in the State’s south east and carried his agricultural skills into a broad career that included export initiatives, wineries, and the remarkable tale of a pile of old lemons that he turned into Australia’s first ready-to-drink beverage Two Dogs.

Staff at his latest venture – Kangaroo Island Pure Grain – said a statement would be issued later in the week advising funeral arrangements.

MacGillivray started Kangaroo Island Pure Grain in 2009 to provide premium returns to Kangaroo Island grain growers.

The company receives, stores and classifies the majority of KI grain grown and sold into the domestic and key export markets, including Asia and Japan.

Based in Macclesfield, he served as Board Member of the Premier’s Food Council and the Premier’s Wine Council and was also a past chairman and patron of The Hutt Street Centre Foundation in Adelaide, a charity supporting the city’s homeless.

The MacGillivray story’s most enduring chapter is that of the lemon-flavoured Two Dogs, first introduced in Australia in 1993 and marketed throughout the world.

The legend behind the drink was that MacGillivray was having a beer with some friends who owned a citrus orchard and were stuck with a pile of produce they couldn’t sell.

Duncan offered to “brew them” and the resultant easy to drink alcoholic beverage started to sell. In a piece of marketing genius, he named the drink after the punch line of a joke.

Two Dogs brewing company was born. There was a “Why Do You Ask?” on the bottle.

Two Dogs was acquired by the French alcoholic beverage company Pernod Ricard in 1995.

MacGillivray then went onto further success, including the establishment of a vineyard, winery and function venue near Macclesfield.

He named it Longview because of its scenic panorama of the Coorong National Park and Lake Alexandrina, from the top of a nearby hill.

He later sold the business to the Saturno family.

Next, he turned his attention to Kangaroo Island Pure Grain.

His local federal MP Jamie Briggs paid tribute to Duncan’s efforts in marketing KI Pure Grain in a piece he wrote for The Punch.

“With the skill and cunning that makes our country so special, he developed ‘KI Pure Grain’ and began to make arrangements with the buyers in Japan.  He worked with the government authorities to get the best deal on the infrastructure and he managed the process of accessing the funds from the bank, a hurdle many other small businesses have failed in recent times.

“KI Pure Grain has worked out transport deals with local transport companies and with the ferry company Sealink which has put on an additional ferry to cart the special containers.  It has given these KI farmers the scale they didn’t have previously meaning their costs are reduced.”

Duncan is survived by his wife Oopy, sons Angus and Max and adult children Alice and Hugh.

 

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