South Australian food industry leaders to be recognised at Food Awards

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th October 2008

Acting South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Jane Lomax-Smith has announced this year’s finalists for the Premier’s Food Awards.Finalists from the city, Adelaide Hills, Limestone Coast, Eyre Peninsula and Riverland – have been recognised for outstanding achievement and excellence in categories ranging from new products, innovation, export, workforce and environmental sustainability.

The 11th Awards will culminate with a green themed gala dinner and presentation night in November (November 14 2008).

Ms Lomax-Smith said the Awards are an annual highlight for the food industry, and it was timely that the focus of the night will be the environment.

“South Australia’s reputation is for producing distinctive, world-class food and, in addition to that, we are becoming increasingly known for our environmentally sustainable, or ‘green, clean cuisine’,” Ms Lomax-Smith said.”Going green means being smarter about how we do business and thinking about our carbon footprint in everything we do – right along the food chain. Some of South Australia’s leading food producers – from every corner of the state – have been named as finalists. It’s great to see them recognised not only for fantastic products, but also for their environmental record.”

Established businesses such as B.-d. Farm Paris Creek and Barossa Fine Foods have again been named as finalists, with newcomers Mayura Station and Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association joining the Awards as finalists for the first time.

Premier’s Food Awards Finalists:

KPMG Young Leader Award
* Carly Cannon, 31, is Technical Services Manager for Safcol, and SA branch chair of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
* Sam Tucker, 33, is Director of Tucker’s Natural a business specialising in gourmet crackers, which has grown and diversified over the past 12 months.
* Dr George Ujvary, 33, Managing Director of Olga’s Fine Foods, a family-owned South Australian company producing and distributing meat products nationally.

Food and Beverage Development Fund Workforce Development Award
* Barossa Fine Foods is a 17 year-old family owned and operated business, distributing gourmet smallgoods, cheese and deli goods Australia-wide, and employing more than 85 staff.
* B.-d. Farm Paris Creek – a biodynamic dairy farm, producing organic milk, cheese, yogurt and butter distributed nationally and overseas, and employing around 38 full time employees.

Peats Soil & Garden Supplies Environmental Sustainability Award
* Agri Exchange, one of Australia’s largest producers and packers of citrus, has been innovative in pioneering new drought, water and salinity management practices.
* AqaOyster, as a producer of quality oysters for export, believe that the environment, business sustainability and product integrity are all linked.
* B.-d. Farm Paris Creek is a biodynamic dairy farm and producer, who aim to run the most environmentally friendly farming and food production enterprise in Australia.

NAB Export Award
* Almondco is experiencing strong growth in exporting premium almond products, built on the company’s long-standing record for quality, customer service and reliability.
* AqaOyster has a clean, green reputation, a state of the art processing and packaging facility, and expert staff, which has enabled the company to break into lucrative export markets in Asia and Europe.
* Beerenberg continues to “bring the true taste of the farm to the world through its innovative product range and reputation for quality, and now exports to Asia, the UK and USA.
* Mayura Station produces and markets quality Wagyu beef, providing premium meat for the strong South-East Asian culinary marketplace, including Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.

SARDI Innovation Award
* Fruit Wise, a 100% natural fruit snack, was developed after much research, testing and innovative thinking. After extensive trials, the company is recording strong growth in production and sales.
* Mayura Station identified a niche Asian market for full blood Wagyu beef, and have strategically grown to provide consistently high quality meat to discerning consumers.
* Robern Menz’ most recent innovation has been the successful research, development and commercialization of FruBears, a 100% dried fruit snack for children.

San Remo New Product Award
* Humbugz Honey new honey round is a frame of fresh, pure honeycomb, filled with a fragrant light coloured honey with soft citrus flavours, perfect with cheese and wine.
* Pendleton Estate, has added a Chardonnay White Wine vinegar to their range, using Limestone Coast chardonnay grapes, the vinegar is full bodied and fruit driven.
* Robern Menz this year introduced FruBears to their customers, made with 100% dried fruit it is a healthy children’s snack endorsed by the Australian Heart Foundation.

Rural Solutions SA Services to Industry Award
* Adelaide Showground Farmers Market, which began in 2006, each week offers a unique insight into SA’s food industry, and easy access to an extensive range of fresh and tasty local produce.
* SA Freight Council continues to seek improved efficiency along the logistics chain, helping to ensure SA’s valuable produce maintains its prime quality from paddock to plate.
* Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association provides strategic advice on industry development, marketing, fisheries management and promotional opportunities.

Food Adelaide Value Adding Award (less than 15 FTEs)
* Bushmin Farmed Rabbits has expanded its range, adding to its standard whole rabbit range by developing rabbit schnitzel, rolled boneless seasoned legs and sausages, as well as offering rabbit as a substitute for chicken in meals such as stir-frys or salads.
* Careme Traditional Pastry began in 2005 and has experienced rapid growth – be it with home chefs, caterers or restaurants – through its handcrafted ready-to-use premium frozen pastry dough.
* Tutto Pasta, having undertaken substantial market research to determine the requirements of customers, is continuing to deliver value-added traditional pasta products to homes and businesses throughout Australia.

Food Adelaide Value Adding Award (greater than 15 FTEs)
* Almondco, an important Riverland employer and Australia’s second largest almond processor, has an outstanding record of value-adding along the entire chain, from growers and processors to product marketers.
* Meatpak operates in the wholesale, food service and retail meat industry, with a focus on delivering numerous product options to customers.
* Mitani Products provides a blend of quality herbs, spices and seasonings to the poultry and meat industries, adding value to a range of SA’s food industries and enhancing the reputation of many SA food suppliers.
* Richard Gunner’s Fine Meats employs more than 50 people, with a particular focus on high-end meat brands, and ensuring that value-added meat cuts are identified and used, rather than discounted.