Happy Birthday to 4t!

Our fledgling company started operations from a table in the corner of the dining room, with a single computer and a laptop. Computer cords, papers etc. had to be put up and away from the two children so they didn’t pull everything apart, or decorate a report with colouring in pencils and markers.

How it all started

For those of you who don’t know the history of 4T, the company was started when Directors Ian Rankine and Bronwyn Reid returned to Australia after years spent wandering the planet and working.  4T’s first contract was with an international agribusiness organisation, writing a series of books on Best Management Practices in plantation agriculture.

More sustainability projects

Following the completion of that project, we embarked on a series of research projects in partnership with the Federal and State Governments, and industry.  Again, the theme of  the research, and the projects that grew out of them, was sustainability.  Then, as the mining boom started to get going, 4T was engaged by mining companies to help them meet their environmental requirements and solve environmental issues.

The central theme of our 20 years in business has been to good science.  Our mission is to help our clients obtain economic production from our natural resources, be that agricultural produce, water, coal, gas or even urban developments, with the least environmental impact that we can manage. Our work has included developing several training courses that help spread the adoption of best management practices.

We recognise that, in order to exist on this planet, we have to make use of our natural resources, but that we also have to share them with the coming generations.  Providing accurate, reliable, and replicable data is critical to making good decisions, and that has always been our commitment to our clients.  If planning and production decisions are made using unreliable data, the effects can last for a very long time and be extremely expensive.

Over 20 years, there have obviously been some changes in our team.  As a small company, we have always been a close-knit team, and we remain close friends with many former employees.  Friday afternoons often find a former employee or two dropping in for a chat and a beer.  Christina and Pat, two of our very first employees, still work for 4T.

And now for the next 20 years….

We’ve survived 20 years of ups and downs, with both the resources industry and agribusiness experiencing booms and busts. We’ve also seen the commitment of governments to natural resource management ebb and flow.

2017 will see the original books on Best Management Practices re-launched.  They have been completely updated and are due off the printing press sometime in the next few months. We think that will be a fitting way to celebrate 20 years in business.