Making Aussie food news this week
As damaging rain and floods ravage the east coast of Australia, farmers are facing devastating losses. Crops have been destroyed, livestock have been lost and machinery and infrastructure have been damaged. Thousands of people have also been displaced from their homes. We share how you can help below. In slightly more cheering news, one of our major supermarket chains is piloting drone delivery, while an Aussie franchise wins global acclaim. And savoury snack lovers rejoice as an old favourite returns.
Counting the cost of floods
Flooding across Australia’s east coast has caused major heartache for farmers. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of fruit and vegetables have been lost. The affected regions across southeast Queensland and northern NSW are some of the most productive in the Australian vegetable industry. However, AUSVEG says it’s too early to gauge the full impact of flooding on the supply chain. The “Golden Triangle” of beef processing in Queensland has also been heavily impacted. Abattoirs and work sites have been inundated, and infrastructure has been damaged. Supermarkets are also once again facing shortages in many regions, with supplies unable to reach stores.
Flood appeals launched
The Salvation Army has already provided more than 12,000 meals for first responders and evacuees. The Salvos has also launched a Flood Appeal, aiming to raise $10 million. Funds will go directly to support the estimated 18,000 homes impacted during the floods. To donate to the Salvation Army’s Flood Appeal, go to salvationarmy.org.au. You can also round up your purchase at any Woolworths checkout in NSW and QLD or donate at any register throughout the country. Foodbank Queensland, NSW and ACT have also launched flood appeals and are working to support affected communities during the recovery period.
Eggs in short supply in WA
In Western Australia, egg supply has been impacted by a “perfect storm” of problems. Fluctuating demand during the pandemic, supply chain disruptions caused by flooding in South Australia that cut off key road and rail routes and extreme heat have seen egg shortages hit stores across the state. Speaking to ABC News, WA Commercial Egg Producers Association president Ian Wilson says shortages could continue for months.
Coles takes to the skies
Coles will be Australia’s first major supermarket to offer drone delivery for more than 250 of its most popular grocery items. Partnering with global on-demand drone delivery service Wing, customers in Canberra will be the first to pilot the new technology, with delivery in minutes. The drone delivery pilot will offer a selected range of items, including bread, fresh produce, snacks, convenience meals, health care items, kitchen essentials and toilet paper. Customers simply order via the Wing app. Upon arrival, the drone hovers in the air and slowly lowers the package to the ground at the customer’s delivery location.
Boost Juice wins big at international awards
Australian brand Boost Juice has won Best Food and Drink Franchise and the Global Franchise Champion award at the Global Franchise Awards, held in San Diego, US. The Global Franchise Awards celebrates franchised brands, with the Global Franchise Champion Award given to the category winner which has, in the opinion of the judges, done the most to distinguish itself internationally. Founder Janine Allis started Boost in 2000 with a single store in Adelaide when she saw a gap in the market for healthy fast food. Boost now has more than 600 stores serving up Boost beverages in 13 countries across the globe.
Orange F.O.O.D WEEK
Orange F.O.O.D Week is Australia’s longest-running regional food and wine festival. The festival begins on April 1 and runs for 10 days during the autumn harvest and vintage season. Orange F.O.O.D Week champions the region’s diverse and high-quality food and wine and celebrates its farmers, chefs and producers. Events include everything from workshops and tasting trails to night markets, long lunches and cooking classes. To check out the full program or to buy tickets, head to orangefoodweek.com.au.
Robertson Potato Festival
Expertise Events has announced the launch of the inaugural Robertson Potato Festival in the heart of NSW’s Southern Highlands. The potato-growing town of Robertson, the home of the Big Potato, will welcome potato fans from all over NSW to the Robertson Showgrounds on the weekend of April 30 to May 1. From mash to moonshine, there’ll be opportunities to explore the diversity as well as the importance of the potato. It’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop. Events will include cooking demos and competitions, as well as live entertainment. For more info or to buy tickets, head to potatofestival.com.au.
Seafood Excellence Awards return
Sydney Fish Market has announced the return of its biennial Seafood Excellence Awards. The awards showcase the best in the NSW seafood industry, with nominations now open to retailers, suppliers, restaurateurs, individuals and businesses, locally and beyond. There are 11 award categories, including Best Seafood Restaurant, Young Achiever, Star of the Sea and Primary Producer awards for NSW and interstate. Winners will be announced on May 18. For more info or to make a nomination, head to seafoodexcellenceawards.com.au.
Life Savers expands range
In sweet news, iconic Aussie confectionery brand Life Savers has launched its first new products in 100 years. Expanding from its traditional roll format, the new bagged products include Life Savers Sherbert Fizz Stix, Life Savers 5 Flavours Jelly Beans, Life Savers Gummy Rings Duo, Life Savers Fruit Pastilles and Fruit Tingles Chocolate Balls. There’s also a Fruit Tingles and Raspberry Jellies chocolate block made with Darrell Lea milk chocolate. You can find the new products nationwide at Coles, Woolworths and IGA supermarkets.
Burger Man is back
Kids of the 1990s and 2000s who fondly remember Burger Man chips will be thrilled to hear this news. The saucy snack has returned. The product was discontinued in 2016, but now the crispy puffed “burger men” sprinkled with savoury burger-flavoured seasoning are making a comeback. Rumours of Burger Man’s resurgence have been circulating on social media for a while. There was even a “Bring Back Burger Man” petition on Change.org and a correlating Facebook page. You can find Burger Man chips exclusively at Woolworths.
Also in food news this week…
We launched into the week with a bit of a kick, sharing the best herbs and spices for health and wellbeing. Also adding some special Aussie flavour, we took a look at the abundance of edible plants you can find growing in our coastal and marine ecologies. To bring a touch of sweetness and warmth to your Thursday, we shared a recipe for lemon chiffon tray bake from home-cooking icon Sally Wise. Plus, we profiled NSW sustainable food delivery service Your Food Collective as well as Queensland’s Towri Sheep Cheeses.
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