Local Aussie food news: October headlines

31st October 2022 | Moira Geddes

Making local Aussie food news in October…

Delcado Avocados are officially in season, Australian Lamb gets sold to foreign buyers, Campos Coffee is crowned Australia’s best coffee roaster and Barilla teams up with OzHarvest to help reduce waste. The hospitality sector shows signs of recovery with a wave of new venues, ethical chocolate maker Hey Tiger launches its first-ever Christmas range and meal delivery services continue to thrive and expand with new offerings delivered straight to your door.  

Delcado Avocados are available from now until the end of January.

From the farm gate

Delcado avocados are back in season and have began hitting supermarket shelves nationally. After last year’s bumper crop, this season will be a smaller one. Grower and farm manager Suzie Delroy is expecting to hand-pick around 27 million Delcados at their orchard in Pemberton WA. To help promote the two-year-old brand, Mark Best has shared his tasting notes on the new season fruit. The awarded chef hopes they’ll help consumers to increase their avocado repertoire, beyond smashed avo on toast.

Melons Australia is actively seeking to improve the taste of locally grown melons over the next 18 months. The joint initiative was prompted by research which revealed 50 per cent of melons are considered unacceptable by consumers. If successful, it’s hoped that the improvement program will increase consumer demand for rockmelon, watermelon and honeydew.

Meantime, a Northern Territory watermelon farm is about to harvest the territory’s first wheat crop in 45 years. Almost 400 kms from Alice Springs, Desert Springs farm took a gamble planting durum wheat instead this year, due to increased demand. The war in the Ukraine and flooding in eastern states has made the wheat variety less available. Durum wheat is traditionally used to make pasta. 

The damage bill for wheat losses in north-west NSW is expected to be least $150 million according to the state’s peak farming body. Over 120,000 hectares of crops were destroyed after Moree’s fourth-worst flood on record spread into paddocks last month.

Production costs for macadamia growers could reduce significantly in the future. The forecasts being made after a Hort Innovation-funded breeding program resulted in the discovery of two traits which produce tree varieties which are shorter, and which enter production earlier. Trial plantings of the trees with those traits are ongoing. It’s unknow whether lower production costs will be passed onto consumers.

Also making local Aussie food news in October, another Australian food company has been sold to international buyers. Australian Lamb Company selling to Minerva Foods Australia in a $400 million deal. The company’s meat processing plant in Colac is one of the town’s largest employers. Minerva Foods Australia is owned by its South American branch and the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company. 

41% of Aussie consumers believe that Australia is home to the best pies in the world.

And the winners are…

Wotif has announced the winners of its annual Wotif Uniquely Aussie Awards as voted by Aussies, revealing the top unmissable local gems for your next road trip. And the winners are: 

Best Pie: Shhmoakesy’s Gourmet Pies, Kincumber, NSW  

Best Ice Creamery: Planet 72, Hervey Bay, QLD  

Best Neenish Tart: Gumnut Patisserie, Mittagong, NSW 

Campos Coffee has won the Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA) top trophy for the second time in a row and has been crowned Australia’s Best Coffee Roaster. The annual award is highly sought after in Australia and attracted hundreds of entries from across the country. For a taste of Australia’s best coffee, fans in Sydney and Brisbane can visit one of the two Campos Coffee flagship cafes. A new flagship cafe location is also planned to launch on Chapel Street in Melbourne before the end of the year.

Supermarket giant Woolworths has awarded local organic Cherry farmer Luke Cantrill $500,000 to build all-weather crop protection over his cherry orchard in Orange, NSW. An organic vegetable producer in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, has also received a $500,000 grant to help invest in harvesting equipment and packing systems. The Woolworths Organic Growth Fund was set up to help meet future demand for organic fruit and vegetables.   

Aussie Frozen Fruit Mixed Berries have been announced as the winner of ‘Best Frozen Fruit’ in the Frozen Product category of the 2022 Healthy Food Guide Awards run by Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine. The locally grown and produced products are available exclusively in the freezer aisle of Woolworths stores nationally. 

OzHarvest chef Giovanni Lo Surdo’s unique #SecondLifePasta dish Fritelle Di pasta.

Feeding those in need

Barilla has teamed up with OzHarvest, to challenge Aussies to get inventive in the kitchen and reduce household food waste. Consumers are being encouraged to simply use up the food they have in their fridge or pantry, before buying more and giving #SecondLifePasta a try. Approximately one third of all food (nearly one billion tonnes) produced globally each year is either lost or wasted. In Australia, 7.6 million tonnes are wasted each year.

To celebrate This World Food Day on October 16th Kellogg’s partnered up with Sydney local charity Panty 4 The People to give it a total makeover. Founder Rachel Smith is now encouraging Aussies nationwide to set up their own Pantry 4 the People to help support their own local communities. Visit the Kellogg’s Facebook page for tips on how you can help tackle food insecurity in your community. 

The charity has been feeding and helping those in genuine need in the Botany local community for the last three years.

Hospitality in high spirits

In a good sign that the industry is seeing signs of recovery, several new venues have been announced in October. First up, ex-Nobu, Koko and Chocolate Buddha chef Angelito ‘Angel’ Bautista has embarked on a new joint venture. Sushi Uokin is a brand new high-end takeaway sushi venue on Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn. The  offers an uplifting and tranquil atmosphere full of clean stone and raw timber that draws inspiration from minimalistic Japanese Washitsu decor.

Mexican restaurant group Rosa Mexicano has opened a new venue in Melbourne’s CBD. Unlike their other locations, the Degraves St venue offers an exclusive breakfast menu that puts a Mexican spin on the classics. The new venue is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, and 11:30 am ‘til late on weekends.

Australian Chef Justin North has collaborated with the owners of Bar Cleveland to open a new restaurant in Sydney’s Surry Hills. The restaurant offers relaxed southern-Mediterranean lunch and dinner menu. The 60-seater venue is open seven days a week. 

The Hey Tiger Christmas Collection retails for $60.00.

What’s new on the food front?

Ethical Chocolate maker Hey Tiger is launching its first-ever Christmas Collection. Two percent from each collection sold will be donated to The Hunger Project and will go towards women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship and social development programs. The Hey Tiger Christmas Collection can be purchased from Heytiger.com.au and Milligram stores nationwide.

In time for World Vegan Month in November, Pana Organic has expanded its baking range with two new products, Dark and Mylk Baking Chocolate. The new extension of the range will give consumers more plant-based, organic options when cooking desserts at home.  

The new take-home meals include an Eggplant Penang Curry and Tofu Laksa.

Ready, set, go… Straight to your door!

Eat Fit Food founder Bianca Monley has launched another venture to bolster her ready-made meal empire. Lifely is a premium chef prepared meals business, and the evolution of the mother-of-three’s passion for regenerative farming processes and educating children on where their food comes from. Lifely sources the majority of fresh produce from its own farms on the outskirts of Sydney and the Southern Highlands. The kitchen team has also partnered with local suppliers who share their dedication to respecting the environment and the humane treatment of animals.

Yulli’s has introduced a new offering, by providing take-home meals to their customers. Sold refrigerated for RRP $18 each, consumers can now simply heat up and serve with rice or noodles for a delicious feed for two. Yilli’s is renowned for creating delicious and innovative plant-based food at its flagship Surry Hills restaurant, Yulli’s Brews in Alexandria plus Northern Rivers eateries Yulli’s Byron Bay and Wok This Way.

Make-Out Meals has collaborated with two Melbourne restaurants CODA & GILSON to bring some of their delicious dishes to homes across NSW, VIC and the ACT. Served up in minimal, sustainable packaging, Make-Out Meals delivers chef quality meal kits with recipes and special ingredients, straight to your door.

Premium meal delivery service Providoor has launched same day delivery for Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane’s most popular restaurants, alongside a refreshed website with a strong focus on the customer experience. With the updated website, users can also filter to search for restaurants available to them, and place orders prior to 1pm for delivery that night. 

Providoor has a a delivery radius of 15-20 kilometres from the city centre.

Also in local food news this month…

In October EATIVITY revealed the best diets for health and weight loss. We experienced a clove encounter with glorious garlic, and shared some tips on growing your own food even if you don’t have much space. We also rehashed old recipes for Halloween treats that say boo to sugar and we shone the spotlight on an amazing local Aussie cheesemaker Grandvewe Cheese.

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