News bites: baking headlines this week

6th August 2021 | Eativity editors

Sometimes, green bread can be a good thing. We don’t mean the furry kind that you find at the back of your bread bin; we’re talking the type of green that never goes stale – the eco-friendly variety. Two Australian bread brands are going against the grain, introducing planet-friendly initiatives that are making the average Aussie loaf more sustainable.

Also fresh from the oven is the news that a Victorian bakery business will be celebrating a major milestone by holding one of the biggest food giveaways ever, and Australia’s longest-running hospitality industry awards makes a welcome return in 2021.

Ferguson Plarre is celebrating 120 years by giving away a massive haul of freebies.

Victorian baker to give away 40,000 treats

War, economic depression, recessions and a global pandemic – over the past 120 years, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses has seen it all. The fifth-generation Victorian family owned and operated business is celebrating its 120th birthday by continuing its tradition of “baking people happy”, giving away more than 40,000 special birthday treats over the month of August. It will be one of the largest retail food giveaways in Victorian history.

The first Ferguson Plarre store opened in Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds, in 1901 and now Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses boasts a growing network of 87 stores across Victoria.

“120 years ago, the commitment to ‘baking people happy’ was made, and it’s something we still live by today,” says Ferguson Plarre CEO, Steve Plarre. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate with our customers than by sharing our special birthday treats – for free.”

Every Thursday in August, 10,000 items will be given away to Ferguson Plarre customers buying products in-store. For more information, head to

Helga’s introduction of recyclable packaging is the best thing since, well, sliced bread.

Bread brand raises sustainability stakes

Goodman Fielder bread brand Helga’s has achieved a first in the bread sector, reaching its 100 percent renewable electricity target four years ahead of its 2025 goal while also becoming the first bread brand to use 100 percent recyclable packing.

Plastic packaging for all Helga’s loaves, rolls and wraps is now recyclable through REDcycle at participating stores, and next month the brand will also be introducing 100 percent recyclable cardboard bread tags across its range. From July 1, Helga’s also made the switch to 100 percent renewable electricity across all its Goodman Fielder-operated bakeries.

A tip-top idea that can save tonnes of plastic waste.

Tag, you’re it

Australian bread manufacturer Tip Top introduced 100 percent recycled and recyclable cardboard bread tags in South Australia last year, and has now launched its sustainable bag tags in Victoria and NSW. The initiative will remove almost 100 million tags across the three states, potentially removing 35 tonnes of plastic tags from entering waste streams. As the cardboard tags are rolled out across Australia and New Zealand, the move will eventually eliminate 400 million pieces of single-use plastic every year. The brand’s next goal is to make all Tip Top packaging 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

Tip Top encourages consumers to recycle the cardboard tags in kerbside recycling bins by tucking the tag inside other paper or cardboard products, such as an envelope or paper bag. This will give them the best chance of being recycled rather than being sent to landfill.

Ben Shewry of Attica celebrates his Restaurant of the Year win back in 2019.

Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards return

The Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards will return in 2021 after a hiatus last year, with award winners – including the prestigious Restaurant of the Year – to be revealed at a special awards dinner on October 27 at Gimlet at Cavendish House in Melbourne.

With support from Visit Victoria, the event will be held in Melbourne for the first time in 10 years to celebrate the city’s resilient and world-class hospitality industry. Often regarded as Australia’s culinary capital, Melbourne is emerging from the most challenging chapter in hospitality history and is once again ready to serve.

The awards are the Oscars of the Australian food and wine scene, and are our longest-running national restaurant awards, beginning back in 1981. Previous years have seen acclaimed fine-diners such as Attica and Quay claim the Restaurant of the Year prize.

Awards will also be presented for Best New Restaurant, Best Wine Bar, Best New Talent, Restaurant Personality of the Year and, to support the tourism sector, there’ll also be a Best Destination Dining award. This year also sees the return of the peer-voted Chef of the Year, which will recognise a single chef for their contribution to Australian dining.