Local Aussie food news: May headlines

31st May 2023 | Moira Geddes

Making local Aussie food news in May...

Another win for local Aussie manuka honey producers, Nerada Tea halts plantation operations, and Sanitarium Health Food Company celebrates 125 years. Donuts turn orange for World Donut Day, Grampians Olive Co. opens its doors for Harvest Open Day and Australia’s best beef, lamb, cheese, and ice cream get crowned in the Royal Queensland Awards.

There are more than 80 leptospermum varietals in Australia. New Zealand has only one.

From the farm gate…

New Zealand’s intellectual property watchdog has ruled against Kiwi producers in their fight to trademark the word ‘manuka’. It’s another win for Australian manuka honey producers in their long-running trans-Tasman war. The New Zealand-based Manuka Honey Appellation Society has lost similar cases in the United Kingdom, Unites States and EU.

Weaker consumer demand for black tea has prompted Nerada Tea to halt operations at its biggest plantation in Queensland. Australia’s largest tea producer also cited rising production costs at the Atherton Tablelands estate. The tea company says it will look to transition into producing higher-value products.

Consumers struggling with higher food prices may start to look for cheaper red-meat alternatives to beef and lamb as inflation continues to rise. One alternative is goat meat, which has seen prices fall by more than a half to around $3.30 a kilo in recent months. It’s all because producers are struggling to find buyers for their stock despite goat meat often cited as the most widely eaten protein in the world.

HelloFresh has been forced to apologise to the Bunbury Farmers Market for falsely claiming its food boxes contained market produce. It comes after the West Australian market was alerted to several instances of HelloFresh sales people telling consumers it used the market’s veggies, fruit and meat during door knock marketing. Bunbury Farmers Market co-owner Kevin Opferkuch told ABC South West radio that says it doesn’t contribute produce to any meal kit services.

Also making local Aussie food news in May, anglers in Queensland are catching significantly bigger sized barramundi according to WWF Australia. The conservation group says analysis of QLD University research shows average barramundi lengths have increased 13 to 23 per cent in Cairns, Rockhampton and Mackay. WWF says it’s the direct result of a commercial fishing net ban that was put in place in 2015.

Orange Sky founders with OMG! Decadent Donuts owners ready to celebrate World Donut Day.

Serving up a helping hand…

Get ready to dip into some sugary cinnamon because June 2nd is World Donut Day. The initiative first began in 1938 as a fund-raiser by the Salvation Army to help people in need during the great depression. This year OMG! Decadent Donuts is raising some dough for local charity Orange Sky. Its donuts are usually recognised in shops, farmers markets, and community events by their bright aqua colour. But on June 2nd,3rd and 4th they’re turning orange and the company will donate $5 for every box of 12 donuts sold.

To celebrate its 125th birthday, Sanitarium Health Food Company has reaffirmed its commitment to make a positive impact on the nation’s health. Since 1898, the Australian-owned company has been nourishing Aussie families with affordable healthy foods, educating people to eat well and move more, and giving food to communities in need.

Also making local Aussie food news in May, more than two million households in Australia (21 percent) have experienced severe food insecurity in the last 12 months according to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2022. For this reason, Mars Food Australia has pledged to double its food donation in 2023, aiming to help provide a total of three million meals to support people in need across Australia.

It takes approximately 7 kilos of Grampians Olive Co olives to make 1 litre of oil.

What’s on…

Grampians Olive Co. is opening its doors to the public for its annual Harvest Open Day and Small Growers Olive Processing Service on Sunday June 11th. Olive enthusiasts can celebrate 80 years of one of Australia’s oldest olive groves at the historic Toscana Olive Plantation in Victoira. There will be all you can eat wood-fire pizza and a behind the scenes tour, as well as an olive tree harvesting demonstration and an olive cold pressing presentation. The Grampians Olive Co. team will also be on hand to answer questions about olive tree pruning, olive curing and general care of olive trees at home.

Melburnians can connect with local producers at Yarra Botanica this winter with a series of Local’s Markets taking place on the last Sunday of each month. Guests will can not only enjoy the very best in local flavours and ingredients but also meet the suppliers and get to know more about them. The carefully curated selection of vendors has been handpicked to showcase Victoria’s very best.

The NSW Central Coast’s premier Food and Wine Festival is set to return over June long weekend. Locals will be able to discover new flavours, delicious deserts and award-winning wines. Part of the Harvest Festival Central Coast, Glenworth Grazing Food and Wine Festival transforms the striking surrounds of Glenworth Valley into a food lover’s paradise with loads of boutique stalls and live music.

Also making local Aussie food news in May, after a stellar turn out in Melbourne last month, the Good Food & Wine Show will take place in Sydney from June 23rd – 25th. In its 22nd year, the Show celebrates the very best Australian produce, winemakers, artisans, and chefs from around the nation. The show will then move to Perth from July 21st – 23rd and finally Brisbane from October 27th – 29th.  Tickets for the Sydney event are on sale now.

And on the fine dining scene, Rockpool Bar & Grill is showcasing a series of rare beef breeds that rival Wagyu at exclusive dinners in June and July, following sell-out events last year. Guests can experience a range of rare breeds that are available in limited quantities and supplied exclusively to Rockpool Bar & Grill at dinners in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Rockpool chefs will showcase various cuts, wood-fire grilled to perfection, of these unique breeds that are grown by Victorian farmer David Blackmore and his son Ben. The three-course meal is served with matched wines and includes a cocktail on arrival.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney is ranked as the best steak restaurant in the Asia Pacific.

What’s new…

Australian family owned and operated Garlo’s Pies has launched at selected Coles stores in Victoria. The well-loved pie brand was established in Maroubra in Sydney by brothers Sean and Nathan Garlick along with their father Terry over 22 years ago. The Garlick boys wanted to develop a pie that you could bite into and get a taste of the filling from the very first bite. Simply put, they were tired of eating pies that took two to three mouthfuls of pastry before you got to the good stuff!

Following the news of Jenny Craig going into voluntary administration, demand for Lite n’ Easy, continues to grow rapidly. In the first quarter of 2023, the Australian healthy meal delivery service, has been diversifying its business model to ensure more Australians have access to a healthier diet. Already adding to the successful retail launch of their Select Range frozen meals, Lite n’ Easy has just launched a new fresh, ready-made meal to the retail market too. 

Also making local Aussie food news in May, Saltist has released a range of 100% Himalayan Salt Tequila Shot Glasses. Ethically sourced from the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan, they add the perfect nuanced salty note to every sip of tequila or shot of choice. The Range includes both black and pink glasses, and comes in a set of 2, a set of 4, or a ‘Sip with Saltist’ gift set – that also includes Patron Tequila and a fresh Lime.

The ‘Sip with Saltist’ gift set is a foodie’s drink delight.

And the winner is…

Australia’s best beef, lamb, cheese and ice cream have been crowned from a total of 513 entries, in the RNA’s prestigious Royal Queensland Awards presented by King Street. ICON XB Wagyu, produced on the Darling Downs, was named Australia’s best steak, while Milani Minus Eight Degrees in Sunnybank, Brisbane, took the title of Australia’s best ice cream for its cucumber sorbet. Thomas Farms Lamb produced in South Australia was named Australia’s best lamb and Heidi Farm Tilset made in Tasmania took out Australia’s best cheese.

Also making local Aussie food news in May, entries are now open for the 2023 South Australian Premier’s Food and Beverage Industry Awards. the prestigious awards are presented every year and aim to recognise leadership, vision and innovation across the South Australian food and beverage Industry. There are 15 categories in the 2023 program, including the coveted Consumer Award, decided by popular vote. 

Marron is served in some of Australia’s top restaurants.

Also in local food this month…

In May EATIVITY featured a new allergen starter pack to help tiny tummies get the best start, we revealed how Manjumup marron is clawing its way on to mainstream menus and showcased some of the best knives top Aussie chefs recommend. We also shared two budget-busting breakfast mushroom recipes from chef Jason Roberts and explained the importance of food sovereignty and local producers.

Want to keep up to date with all the latest Australian food news and discover new local Aussie food producers? Of course you do! Just sign up for our monthly newsletter in the box below. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Stay tuned for more Australian food stories news to inspire you next month.