Food South Australia turned 10 last October but Covid-19 put the party on hold for the industry peak body, says CEO Catherine Sayer.
“We wanted to mark this achievement and all the achievements of our members, whose livelihoods and growth are the reason we are here, so now we’re officially celebrating our 10th (and a bit) birthday,” Ms Sayer said.
The association held its long-awaited celebration at the National Wine Centre on 17 June, welcoming members to celebrate with guests including the Premier, the Hon Steven Marshall MP and enjoy a feast of South Australian produce and entertainment from Michelle Pearson and the Heyday Band.
“Food Australia has its antecedents in the shared vision of industry and the South Australian Government to create an effective support mechanism for industry growth, led by industry and addressing industry priorities and needs,” Ms Sayer said.
“Our sector has always been recognised as a major economic driver for the state and Food South Australia has grown to become the access point to assistance of every kind, from developing a new product or establishing a new business, to helping iconic South Australian brands penetrate lucrative international markets.”
A decade on, Food South Australia remains unique in Australia as an independent, industry-led and state-focused industry association that also has a close partnership with the Government to enable funding support to be directed to programs designed to support industry-wide growth.
“The Government of South Australia is very proud of the strong partnership we have had with Food South Australia since it was first established in 2010,” said the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Steven Marshall MP.
“Food South Australia’s role as both peak body for the sector and one-stop access point for food and beverage businesses doesn’t exist anywhere else in Australia and provides a unique platform of support for the sector,” he said.
Also joining in the celebrations was industry leader Maurice Crotti AM, Managing Director of San Remo.
“Much of the successful growth of the food and beverage industry in South Australia over past decades has been built on the willingness of the industry to work together for the good of all, to work with Government to achieve growth, and to face opportunities and challenges alike with goodwill and enthusiasm,” Mr Crotti said.
“Food South Australia has been, and continues to be, the trusted partner for industry to facilitate these outcomes, and to be our industry’s voice and representative. That central point of access and support means whether a business is a brand new enterprise just starting to take their product to local retailers or a heritage brand taking premium South Australian products to the world market, we know where to start the conversation – with Food South Australia,” he said.
Ms Sayer said the Food South Australia team, which has grown to include specialists in consumer insights, facilitating entry to new markets and developing sustainable business systems and skills, is looking forward to the next ten years – and beyond.
“Every day, all of our team is working one-on-one with businesses and also at the whole of industry level, looking to grow markets, capability and capacity, and connections for the food and beverage industry in South Australia. That’s what we are here to do,” she said.