With 50 per cent more entries than last year, the competition was strong in this year’s South Australian Premier’s Food and Beverage Awards.

The awards aim to recognize excellence, leadership, vision, and innovation across a variety of categories within the industry and is hosted by the state’s peak body for the food and beverage industry, Food South Australia.

This year’s winners of the Business Excellence Award were Ashton Valley Fresh (for businesses with up to 15 full-time employees), and Robern Menz (for businesses with more than 15 full-time employees).

As well as the prestige of winning, the awards provide many benefits to those businesses who participate, explained Catherine Sayer, Food South Australia CEO.

“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. 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.”

The theme of this year’s awards was ‘Turning the page’ and featured a range of winners from small and new enterprises through to household names.

“The South Australian food and beverage industry is renowned for passion and persistence. 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,” said Sayer.

With funding from the SA State Government, Premier Steven Marshall said the government’s long association with the awards recognises the importance of the food and beverage industry to the SA economy.

“The record levels of engagement with this year’s awards are 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.”

Judged by a panel of 29 experienced industry professionals, other winners included Never Never Distilling Co and Bickford’s Group for the Export Award, mumamoo and VOK Beverages for the New Product Award, and Dinko Tuna and Ceravalo Orchards for the Sustainability Award.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame was the world’s largest retail distributor of kangaroo and wild game meat, Macro Group.

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