In 2018, there's even more for the finalists in the coveted South Australian Food Industry Awards, announced today, to celebrate. This is the 20th year of the awards, the premier awards program for the food and beverage industry in South Australia, and the sector is also now in its 20th year of consistent year on year growth.
"It's time to celebrate our achievers, their individual achievements and the achievements of our industry as a whole," Food South Australia CEO Catherine Sayer said.
"Food and beverage has long been a significant contributor to our state's economy. The South Australian Food Industry Awards Program is all about recognising the ongoing excellence and innovation across the industry that underpins that contribution," Ms Sayer said.
"It's not about the size of the business, it's about how they continuously work to be better at what they do in order to grow. Across the range of finalists we have businesses who have led the development of new product categories, such as Lifestyle Bakery who are constantly innovating in gluten-free baked goods, Eastbrook Vegetable Farms, who have put kalettes on our menus over the last year with great success, and Goolwa PipiCo who have transformed a product from bait to a fine dining ingredient exported internationally."
"Alongside these are some of our most loved brands including Newman's Horseradish, Haigh's Chocolates, Mitani Products and Golden North, so the roll call of finalists in our 20th year is certainly worth celebrating," Ms Sayer said.
"It is also a fitting time to introduce the Next Generation Award, which recognises the achievements of the emerging leaders in our industry – the entrepreneurs who will drive the next wave of innovation and meet the challenges of rapidly changing market and consumer demands."
Food South Australia has hosted the South Australian Food Industry Awards Program since 2012, and manages the program with funding support from the State Government of South Australia.
"Over the years, we have seen businesses use the awards program as an opportunity to work on their businesses as well as celebrate and share their successes," Ms Sayer said. "The application process allows the business to review their operations, and helps develop their story to share with new customers and markets. Every applicant is also eligible to take up a two hour business coaching session with industry experts, so they have a chance to continue to develop their strategies for growth."
"The judges remarked particularly on the quality of the businesses applying this year and that's especially appropriate to our theme of ‘Tasting Success'," she said.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone congratulated the finalists in this year's awards and acknowledged the incredible contribution the state's food and beverage sector makes to our economy.
"Congratulations to all the finalists involved in the 2018 South Australian Food Industry Awards, and to Food South Australia who this year celebrate the 20th year of the awards program," said Minister Whetstone.
"South Australia has an outstanding and highly talented food and beverage sector, and a reputation for innovation and exceptional quality – a trait that is recognised on a national and global scale.
"Our state's food industry is a significant contributor to our economy, generating $17.6 billion in revenue in 2016-17.
The winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner on 23 November at the Adelaide Convention Centre.