Members of SA's agricultural industry converged on the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday night (November 12) for the annual SA Premier's Food and Beverage Industry Awards, celebrating the growers and businesses behind SA's sensational produce.
The gala event was a successful and highly popularly night, with entries up by 50 per cent on last year, a huge vote for the Consumer Award and a record attendance.
Nine business awards were up for grabs, while individual awards, industry-nominated awards and a consumer award were also presented on the night. Judging is completed by an independent panel of 29 experienced industry professionals.
The 2021 roll call of winners included emerging enterprises, right through to well-established household names.
This year's theme was 'Turning the Page', which Food South Australia chief executive Catherine Sayer said had been exemplified well among the entrants.
There are exciting chapters still to be written by the winning businesses and the state government is proud to partner with Food SA to present these awards each year.- STEVEN MARSHALL
"The South Australian food and beverage industry is renowned for passion and persistence," Ms Sayer said.
"The 2021 winners are examples of how this pays off for forward-focused businesses who are determined to 'turn the page' on the disruptions of the last 18 months."
SA premier Steven Marshall said the record number of entries was a positive sign for the industry.
"The record levels of engagement with this year's awards is a sign of just how determined and resourceful these businesses are in the face of challenges such as COVID-19. I congratulate all the winners on their achievements," he said.
"There are exciting chapters still to be written by the winning businesses and the state government is proud to partner with Food SA to present these awards each year."
This year's awards program has been expanded, to provide more benefits to those businesses who participate.
"We recognise that businesses invest time in the process of entering the awards and that the program has to deliver benefits that support industry-wide growth," Ms Sayer said.
"This year's entrants, finalists and winners have also had the opportunity to engage with a comprehensive program designed to develop retail readiness through a partnership with Foodland Supermarkets," she said.
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Winners on the night included Golden North Ice Cream, collecting their third Consumer Award to achieve Consumer Legend status, while Macro Group Australia was the 2021 inductee into the Hall of Fame.
The Primary Producer Award, was won by KIN Premium Australian Seafood (for a business with up to 15 FTEs), and Yumbah Aquaculture (for a business with more than 15 FTEs).
Yumbah Aquaculture chief executive David Wood said Yumbah's win was a good recognition of the team's commitment and passion for delivering high-quality produce.
"At Yumbah, we're steadfast in our commitment to delivering delicious, fresh, sustainable premium produce," Mr Wood said.
"Our South Australian onshore abalone farms at Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island are vertically integrated with our aquafeed factory in Lonsdale and processing centre and headquarters in Wingfield, Adelaide, and recognition like this award adds to our momentum for growth and diversification.
"We have a great team across the board and Friday night's win is for them."
La Casa Del Formaggio's Claude Cicchiello was announced as winner of the Leader Award and Zerella Fresh's Renee Pye is the Next Generation Award winner for 2021.
"It's an honour to receive the Next Generation Award and I look forward to continue to learn from my mentors and industry peers as we work together to create a positive and sustainable path for the entire industry moving forward," Ms Pye said.
"The SA food and beverage industry is thriving at the moment and I'm thoroughly enjoying participating and driving the future of this industry with strong, like-minded individuals."
Zerella Fresh, which employs more than 350 people and grows and supplies more than 120,000 tonnes of potatoes, 50,000 tonnes of onions and 40,000 tonnes of carrots every year to retailers Australia Wide, also took out the Innovation in Business Award (for a business with more than 15 FTEs).
The full list of winners is as follows:
Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Visy
Emerging Business Award, sponsored by the Department for Trade and Investment
Export Award, sponsored by the Department for Trade and Investment
Innovation in Business Award, sponsored by the Department for Trade and Investment
Innovation in Food or Beverage Award, sponsored by Food Processing Equipment
New Product Award, sponsored by Foodland Supermarkets
Primary Producer Award, sponsored by Thomas Foods International
Sustainability Award, sponsored by Peats Soil & Garden Supplies
Service Provider Award, sponsored by Mitani Group
Leader Award, sponsored by Bickford's Group
La Casa Del Formaggio Next Generation Award, sponsored by Macro Group Australia
Education and Training Award, sponsored by the University of Adelaide
Hall of Fame, sponsored by San Remo
Consumer Award sponsored by Foodland Supermarkets
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