News bites: ducks, coffee & community

12th March 2021 | Eativity editors

Who doesn’t love a good foodie show on the telly? There’s nothing like watching talented cooks and chefs do amazing things with food while you kick back on the lounge eating cheese. (Or is that just us?) The show we feature this week is extra special because it’s all about shining a spotlight on sustainable food and the awesome people who produce it.

Also in food news that you might have missed, a new blend of ethical coffee has been created especially for one of Australia’s biggest food festivals, a national supermarket chain is getting back to its community roots, WA banana growers are calling for consumer help to shift a whopper crop and we reveal the best-rated meal delivery service in Australia.

A fine bromance: Provenir CEO Chris Balazs with the “Ducks”.

Three Blue Ducks meet Provenir on TV

Provenir, the innovative beef brand behind Australia’s only mobile abattoir, is to feature in a new six-part TV series, Three Blue Ducks, which is currently airing nationally on Channel 10. Provenir features in episode five, which airs this Saturday, March 13, at 6pm.

This latest foodie offering sees MasterChef judge Andy Allen and fellow head chefs from the Three Blue Ducks restaurant group, Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson, travel to Australia’s best food destinations in search of produce to showcase in their restaurants.

Allen, LaBrooy and Robertson meet the Provenir team who are processing cattle for farmers Bill and Joy Wearn. The Ducks learn about Provenir’s unique on-farm process and the Wearn’s approach to regenerative farming and calm animal handling. The chefs cook up a sample of Provenir beef over an open fire on the farm and experience the superior taste and tenderness of beef which has been processed at the point of production.

The Three Blue Ducks series is on Channel 10, each Saturday at 6pm until March 20, and is also available to view on 10Play. You can find out more about Provenir at provenir.com.au

IGA launches new program for local communities

IGA has launched its Locals Matter Community Program, which focuses on healthy living and the environment as well as inspiring shoppers with ways they can support their local community and providing members with exclusive offers, content and promotions.

The program has been developed with the help of a consumer study conducted by IGA as part of its “Aisle Chat” research, which identified the things that really matter to shoppers. The research found healthy living (63%), the environment (71%) and thriving communities (66%) were the three most important social issues for IGA customers.

The newly-launched program consists of a free membership sign-up for healthy recipes, community initiatives, exclusive content and promotions that matter to locals. The program will feature healthy eating tips and tricks from IGA’s nutritionists Anna and Alex from @thebitingtruth, tips on reducing waste and how to thrive in your local community, such as finding ways to support local charities and community organisations.

You can sign up for the program at iga.com.au/community

Good coffee doing good: the best brew there is.

Blending coffee, fairness and a festival

Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand and Coffex have joined together to produce a new international coffee blend especially for visitors to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

The new coffee, called Coffex Fairtrade Festival Blend, has been roasted from Fairtrade coffee beans sourced from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Mexico and blended especially for attendees to the Festival’s Longest Lunch and Brunch events this week.

Fairtrade works with 10 different coffee farmer cooperatives in PNG and 43 in Mexico – and many have been struggling due to the impacts of COVID. The producer organisations sell Fairtrade coffee to traders all over the world, but anyone buying this coffee must agree to pay the Fairtrade Minimum Price. This is set based on the farmer’s cost of production and their need to be paid a living wage – which is often much higher than market price.

Producers also receive a premium for each pound of coffee they sell. This money doesn’t go directly to individual farmers; it goes to the cooperative, which decides how to spend it.

You can support Fairtrade farmers by only buying coffee from Fairtrade brands & retailers.

Since COVID, more Aussies than ever have been turning to healthy meal delivery services.

Best meal delivery service in Australia revealed

Drumroll please… Australian company Lite n’ Easy has been rated the number one healthy meal delivery service for the second year in a row. 

Consumer review and comparison website Canstar Blue surveyed 944 Australian adults who used healthy meal delivery services over the last six months. Respondents weighed in on factors like taste and quality, variety, freshness, ease of ordering, delivery, customer service and overall satisfaction. Lite n’ Easy was the only brand to be given 5 stars in each category.

Healthy meal delivery services have gained increased popularity since COVID, with almost 20 percent of Aussies admitting to using a service for the first time during the pandemic.

In 2020, Lite n’ Easy made older Australians their priority when it came to the delivery of their ready-made meals, with the business offering a Home Care Package designed for seniors. More than 500 aged care service providers are now registered with Lite n’ Easy, making it easier for customers to access healthy, subsidised meals to eat at home. 

The best healthy meal delivery services, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s review:

1. Lite n’ Easy
2. Choice Fresh Meals
3. Dinnerly
4. HelloFresh
5. Marley Spoon
6. Youfoodz

Tropical rains and the recent snap lockdown in WA have left banana growers with a surplus of fruit.

Go sweet on WA bananas

It’s not just Queensland banana growers who need help right now – Western Australian banana growers have also been affected by weather conditions. The Sweeter Banana Cooperative in Carnarvon (where bananas were first grown in Australia) has seen production volumes double since December, with Sweeter Banana Business Manager Doriana Mangil (pictured above), saying that recent tropical rains have given the bananas a “turbo-injection”, with warm, wet conditions making the fruit grow faster, leading to a bumper crop which has left many growers with “mountains” of bananas to sell.

So, WA banana-lovers, it’s time to deploy: get out there and buy Carnarvon bananas. They take twice as long to grow as your standard tropical banana, and this extra time makes their flesh extra sweet and creamy. Eat ’em as is, or try the recipes you’ll find here and here.

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