Food and Beverage Industry Award winners announced

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 8th September 2009

One of Western Australia’s youngest integrated dairy companies, Challenge Australian Dairy, has received the top accolade at the annual Westpac Food and Beverage Industry Awards, run by the Food Industry Association of WA (FIA).

Challenge Australian Dairy, a South West based joint venture between Challenge Dairy Cooperative (WA’s only Dairy Farmer Cooperative) and QAF Ltd Singapore, took out the award for best business of the year as well as the prize for ‘excellence in the supply chain’.

Challenge Australian Dairy’s revenue base has risen quickly to approximately $100M year, thanks to the success of their Capel brand. The company has recently launched a new retail brand of Capel cheeses and a range of dairy products for the national market, and entered successfully into exports of fresh dairy ingredients across South East Asia.

FIA Chief Executive Officer Andrea Berteit said the Association had been overwhelmed by the number of companies which nominated for the awards and the quality of nominations.

“We received over 100 entries from almost 50 companies operating in WA ranging from large multinationals to regional companies supplying niche products and services,” she advised. “The nominations demonstrated the industry’s increasing integration from farm to market and its ability to innovate and compete on a national and international level.”

“The achievements of these companies is indicative of just what our WA industry can offer to consumers and the WA community, and the importance of creating value beyond the farm gate.”

Other winners:

HARVEST FRESH CUTS, who have recently opened a state of the art packing facility in Bibra Lake supplying all major retailers with locally grown fresh produce, won the ‘best retail product’ category for their ready-to-heat baby potatoes with parsley and butter.

The Innovation prize was received by THE CHIA COMPANY for establishing the Chia seed industry in WA. Since the company’s establishment in 2005 and the evaluation of first trials of growing Chia seeds in the Kimberley Region, The Chia Company has become the world’s largest producer of Chia with bulk exports to the US, NZ and South Korea.

THE VILLAGE KITCHEN, a family-owned Perth business, producing more than 40,000 portion controlled desserts to cater to the specific dietary requirements needed for WA’s major hospitals each week, won the Best Food Service Category. Village Kitchen is the only Australian company to produce a single portion dessert range according to the dietary requirements each patient, the FIA noted.

The Environment and Sustainability category winner was ALBA EDIBLE OILS, a family-owned oil refinery involved in processing and marketing edible oils, supplying customers nationally and overseas. Alba Edible Oil’s focus on sustainability and commitment to better environmental practices has proven to benefit the community, without sacrificing long-term company viability and profitability.

WR CARPENTER, a premium supplier of beef products into the Asian markets, won the Export category for their achievements in exporting Wagyu beef to markets in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.

In the Best Service to Industry Category, TSW ANALYTICAL, a commercial scientific arm of the University of Western Australia, received recognition for their contribution to the WA pork industry in achieving full traceability.

IGA, THE INDEPENDENT GROCER ASSOCIATION, won the Best Marketing Campaign award for their WA growers and producers campaign – which supported local WA growers and food manufacturers.