Grassroots growers shine as food industry awards finalists announced

South Australian food companies in the running for the 2013 SA Food Industry Awards have been announced with winners to be revealed at a Gala Dinner on 29 November.

Food industry VIPs joined host Food SA and major sponsor PIRSA on Wednesday 16 October at the historic Regal Theatre to celebrate the announcement of the 2013 finalists.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Gail Gago said products from the State’s aquaculture, fisheries, grain, horticulture, livestock industries are increasingly in demand for their quality and high production standards.

“It is fitting to see these producers recognised for their innovation, sustainability and significant contribution to South Australia’s economy,” Ms Gago said.

“The SA Food Industry Awards strongly align with the State Government’s Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment strategic priority, and it’s great to see primary producers well represented, making up almost half of the total 19 finalist companies.

Food SA CEO Catherine Barnett said the finalists represented a wide selection of businesses from South Australia’s food sector.

“It is fantastic to see an increased range of producers being honoured as finalists this year – we’ve got everything from kangaroo, carob, honey and nuts to lamb, mushrooms, ice cream and crackers highlighting the diversity and strength of our industry,” she said.

Finalists include well-known brands such as Beerenberg, Robern Menz and Bickford’s, and niche producers such as Pangkarra Foods from Clare and Buzz Honey from the Adelaide Hills. Six finalists are first time applicants including Rohde’s Free Range Eggs and SA Mushrooms.

“The Food Awards continue to acknowledge excellence in South Australia’s food industry, which is worth over $14 billion to the State’s economy,” added Ms Barnett.

The finalists are in the running for award categories including leadership, best practice, innovation, new product, regional, sustainability and workforce development.

Tickets for the Awards Presentation Gala Dinner at the Adelaide Convention centre, which will showcase local premium food and wine, are now available online for $170 each or $1650 for a table of 10. For more information visit or connect with the Awards on social media at and

Full list of SA Food Industry Awards Finalists

Bickford’s Australia Leader Award finalists:

• Ray Borda, Managing Director, Macro Meats Gourmet Game; National President, Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia; Member, Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation’s Kangaroo Advisory Committee.
• Kris Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer and Head Cheesemaker, Woodside Cheese Wrights; Founder and Chair, South Australian Cheesemakers Association; CheeseFest; Founder and Director, Cheese Festival, Board member, South Australian Tourism Commission, South Australian Food Ambassador.
• Anthony Paech, Managing Director, Beerenberg; Chair Food SA; Board Member, Australian Food and Grocery Council
• Phil Sims, Chief Executive Officer, Robern Menz; Chair, South Australian Government’s Business Development Council, Executive member of Family Business Australia (SA Chapter), Board member, Food SA.

Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society Best Practice Award finalists:

• Almondco Australia (Riverland) is an almond processor co-operative, comprising over 35% of Australia’s almond crop and 80% of its almond growers.
• Beerenberg (Adelaide Hills), operated by the sixth generation of the Paech family is one of Australia’s oldest family–owned jam, condiment and sauce producers.
• Bickford’s Australia (Adelaide) has been manufacturing premium and unique beverages for over 130 years, and has a portfolio of over 16 quality brands.
• Lifestyle Bakery (Adelaide) is a leading manufacturer of health and dietary bread and other related gluten free products.
• Macro Meats Gourmet Game (Adelaide) manufactures premium kangaroo, wild boar and venison products and has a focus on food standards, supply and animal welfare.
• Tucker’s Natural (Adelaide) produces a range of gourmet crackers, dessert biscuits, and fruit pastes using all natural Australian ingredients.

Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society Business Development Award finalists:

• Buzz Honey (Adelaide Hills) operates 100 hives and produces premium quality honey for local, national and global markets.
• Gelista Premium Gelati (Adelaide) is a manufacturer and wholesaler of premium quality gelati, using natural and local ingredients to produce over 25 flavours.
• Kytons Bakery Australia (Adelaide) produces lamingtons, gourmet puddings, nut slices and hot cross buns, with a focus on supply for community fundraising activities.
• Rohde’s Free Range Eggs (Clare Valley) produces 32,000 eggs per day and markets nationally to wholesale, retail and food services businesses.
• Savannah Lamb (Yorke and Mid-North) produces premium lamb, and delivers humane and ethical animal management and natural resource sustainability practices.
• The Carob Kitchen (Fleurieu) has over 3,500 carob trees and produces a range of premium carob products for the Australian market.

SARDI Innovation Award finalists:

• AgriExchange (Riverland) is a citrus production, packing and marketing company, and has developed Near Infrared Technology to measure internal fruit quality.
• Almondco Australia (Murray/Riverland) is an almond processor cooperative, with two new initiatives, pasteurised almonds and a primary processing facility.
• Gelista Premium Gelati (Adelaide) is a manufacturer of premium quality gelati, using natural and local ingredients, and utilising customer feedback for business innovation.
• Lifestyle Bakery (Adelaide) has developed its new Soft n Light gluten free bread range to improve people’s lives with a healthy bread alternative.
• The Australian Carob Co (Yorke and Mid-North) is the largest Carob orchard in Australia and has implemented a new carob pod wash process.
• The Carob Kitchen (Fleurieu) produces a range of carob products for the Australian market, and is developing an all Australian purpose built carob roasting oven.

Foodland SA New Product Award finalists:

• Bickford’s Australia (Adelaide) is a manufacturer of premium and unique beverages, and has recently launched its new preservative free cordial, Fruities.
• Gelista Premium Gelati (Adelaide) is a manufacturer and wholesaler of premium quality gelati, and has developed the new Gelista Cube for restaurants and cafes.
• Kytons Bakery Australia (Adelaide) is renowned for producing lamingtons, gourmet puddings, nut slices and hot cross buns, including its new Fruchocs hot cross bun.
• Lifestyle Bakery (Adelaide) is a leading manufacturer of health and dietary bread products, and has developed the new Soft n Light gluten free bread range.
• The Carob Kitchen (Fleurieu) produces a range of carob products for the Australian market, including the new Banjo Bear, with no added sugar.
• Tucker’s Natural (Adelaide) uses all natural ingredients to produce a range of gourmet crackers, dessert biscuits, fruit pastes and a new convenient snack, Wholegrain Bites.

PIRSA Regional Award:

Regional food winners are being announced at the Brand South Australia presentation dinners occurring across the State throughout October.

Peats Soil and Garden Supplies Sustainability Award finalists:

• Bickford’s Australia (Adelaide) manufactures premium and unique beverages and implements continuous improvements through its in-house environmental committee.
• Savannah Lamb (Yorke and Mid-North) produces premium lamb, and has a vision of “animals and the environment, in their natural state, doing their natural thing”.
• Wintulichs (Gawler) manufacturers of premium smallgoods, has developed an efficiency strategy for improved energy, water and waste performance.

Food and Beverage Development Fund Workforce Development Award finalists:

• AgriExchange (Riverland) manages a citrus cooperative, and has developed a character, training and values based program with a guiding principle of “people first”.
• Beerenberg Farm (Adelaide Hills) has a growth and succession planning strategy that aims to have all 65 production workers attain a formal qualification and skills.
• Wintulichs (Gawler) help their staff improve their skills and knowledge in all facets of its smallgoods production for improved customer relations and operations.

DMITRE Export Award finalists:

• Almondco Australia (Murray/Riverland) is an almond marketer and processor, representing 40% of Australia’s almond crop and 80% of Australia’s almond growers.
• Macro Meats Gourmet Game (Adelaide) is one of the largest manufacturers of kangaroo, venison and wild boar meat products in the world.
• Thomas Foods International is Australia’s largest exporter of consistently high quality lamb, mutton and goat, and exports to over 80 countries.

Thomas Foods International Primary Producer Award finalists:

• Pangkarra Foods (Clare Valley) produces premium stone milled, wholegrain pasta and flour made from 100% durum wheat; grown using bestpractice sustainability.
• Rohde’s Free Range Eggs (Clare Valley) produces safe, high quality eggs and is moving towards a carbon neutral operation, utilising solar energy and waste recycling.
• SA Mushrooms produces and markets high quality mushrooms with a primary focus on achieving sustainable production of safe, premium food.
• Talinga Grove (Fleurieu) produces premium olive oils, olives, and speciality products, with a commitment to a natural resources management program.

Buy South Australia Consumer Award:

The winner voted by consumers will be announced at the Awards Presentation Gala Dinner.

This entry was posted in Food South Australia News, Industry News, Member News on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Comments are closed.