Finalists undergo a rigorous independent review of their business model to assess their social, economic and environmental impact.
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Since 2006, the RAS of NSW President’s Medal has recognised excellence in Australian produce.
Since 2006, the RAS of NSW President's Medal has recognised excellence in Australian produce. Champions representing the best of the best from Sydney Royal shows focussing on fine food and beverages (Spring Fine Food, Summer Fine Food, Cheese & Dairy Produce, Wine, Beer & Cider, and Chocolate shows) are nominated to enter the President's Medal Competition where the field is narrowed to just a handful of finalists. Finalists undergo a rigorous independent review of their business model to assess their social, economic and environmental impact. It's this triple bottom line audit that makes the President's Medal award the most unique and prestigious in the country.
2016 Cobram Estate Boundary Bend Estate, established in 1998, is the culmination of a dream for visionary horticulturists Rod McGavin and Paul Riordan. With an unwavering focus on quality, innovation and customer satisfaction through all facets of our business, Boundary Bend is rapidly developing a global reputation as one of the leading players in the modern olive industry. Critical to our success has been our ability to consistently produce premium quality extra virgin olive oil in large and growing quantities. The result is a business that is unsurpassed in the olive industry and is gaining recognition as a significant player in the international industry. 2015 Pacific Reef Fisheries Sashimi Grade Cobia Queensland www.pacificreef.com.au The Mitris family started Pacific Reef Fisheries in 1998. Over the last 17 years they have built the business to a highly successful prawn and fish farming operation that produces around 1,000 tonnes of seafood per year. Pacific Reef North Queensland Cobia became a part of the business six years ago. This is a new aquaculture species in Australia and was started in partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. With this new species came many challenges and it has been a steep learning curve over the last six years. However, we are very proud of what has become a real success story that is the result of much hard work by a lot of people. Pacific Reef Fisheries comment on their President's Medal win: When they announced we had won, I almost had to pinch myself. I believed in our product, but we were in such esteemed company that we never presumed we would take first place. Publicity around the awards has been extremely helpful when dealing with new distributors, restaurants and chefs. They have either heard of our cobia because of our achievements or are keen to know more particularly because the President's Medal is such a revered accolade and a known indicator of high-quality produce. The win will help us continue to grow and ensure we are in the right market. We were just starting to gain a little exposure at prestige events such as the Spring Racing Carnival and Grand Prix in Melbourne but the President's Medal is opening more doors for us, creating a wider range of opportunities for our fine cobia to be featured and enjoyed. Maria Mitris, Pacific Reef Fisheries - 2015 President's Medal winner Watch the 2015 President's Medal winner as featured on ABC's Landline 2014 Bulla Dairy Foods 35% Thick Cup Cream Victoria www.bulla.com.au Trusted and loved by Australian families since 1910, Bulla Dairy Foods is 100% Australian family owned and has been run by the same three families for five generations. The business prides itself on delivering a delicious, real dairy taste by producing products made from fresh milk, cream and other quality ingredients. Starting out as a small Melbourne cream company, Bulla now offers a broad range of chilled and frozen dairy products including cream, cottage cheese, yoghurt, dairy desserts, ice cream and frozen yoghurt. Bulla’s range of ‘Real Dairy’ products are all underpinned by traditional country values of family, pride, honesty, respect and integrity. 2013 Tahbilk Winery 2008 Marsanne Victoria www.tahbilk.com.au Victoria’s oldest family owned winery – Tahbilk – has beaten some of Australia’s most famous farming dynasties to be awarded the Presidents’ Medal in 2013. They made the shortlist after claiming The Harry Davies Memorial Perpetual Trophy for their 2008 Marsanne. Chief winemaker Alan George said ‘When you’re given an award like this it’s very satisfying; it makes the job that much more worthwhile to do.” “Competing with producers beyond the wine industry puts the President’s Medal in a different league, and, for the team behind Tahbilk wines, winning it is more than a little exciting,” added Mr George. President’s Medal Judge – renowned food lover and Sydney ABC 702 Radio presenter Simon Marnie, said it soon became clear that the carbon neutral business was a natural contender. “So many times you see green wash – the practice of boasting about your environmental credentials without any real understanding – whereas they had a really deep understanding of not just their own environmental responsibilities but also up and down the chain. That’s such a rarity,” he said. 2012 Milly Hill Lamb Lamb – Grass Fed 20-23kg New South Wales www.millyhill.com.au Premium lamb producers Milly Hill Lamb were awarded the 2012 President’s Medal. The New England business, owned by Peter and Sally Strelitz, were recognised for their free-range, grass-fed lambs and commitment to the triple bottom line. “Through close relationships with growers…Peter and Sally encapsulate the dedication to craft skills, sustainable farm practices, financial responsibility and social fabric that are essential to being a President’s Medal winner,” said President’s Medal Judge Simon Marnie. Sally said they were thrilled with the win. “It validates what you are and what you’re doing, and has been a fantastic boost for the business.” The $10,000 prize money was used by Milly Hill to develop their brand and further build their customer base. 2011 Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier (2009) South Australia www.yalumba.com In awarding Yalumba the 2011 President’s Medal, the 163-year-old wine company was congratulated for showing that a producer can be at the leading edge of technology and production standards without compromising on its social and environmental responsibilities. Yalumba took out the award with their Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier 2009. Fifth-generation proprietor Robert Hill Smith said the team were thrilled to receive the award, particularly because it stemmed from the Viognier variety they had been working on for 30 years. Yalumba winemaker Louisa Rose said good environmental practices are crucial for making excellent wines. “You couldn’t grow a good Botrytis wine if you didn’t have a sustainable vineyard,” she said. “You’ve got to have healthy conditions and healthy moulds in the atmosphere.” Yalumba donated its $10,000 in prize money to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation’s rural scholarship program. 2010 Holy Goat Cheese La Luna Goat Cheese Victoria www.holygoatcheese.com When Carla Meurs and Ann-Marie Monda won the President’s Medal for their La Luna cheese, it did more than give their business the recognition it deserved. “Winning was extraordinary because we are a very small producer,” said Carla. “To be so validated by a process that not only looked at the quality of our product but also the quality of our farming systems, that was a pretty wonderful acknowledgement and very encouraging for us.” The pair had been running a dairy herd of 70 goats on 200 acres in Victoria’s Sutton Grange since 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream. They make 10 tonnes of organic goat’s cheese each year, now sold to some of Sydney and Melbourne’s finest restaurants and specialist delicatessens. They hope they President’s Medal win will inspire others to consider running a small farm. 2009 Paringa Estate Shiraz 2006 Victoria www.paringaestate.com.au Paringa Estate’s 2006 Shiraz was the winner of the 2009 President’s Medal. “Winning the President’s Medal in 2009 was a great thrill,” winemaker Lindsay McCall said. “As a reward to my staff who helped in winning this award, I took them for lunch – a good investment of some of the $10,000 prize.” McxCall, who gave away his teaching job in 1994 to pursue his passion for winemaking, now produces multi-award-winning wine which is exported to the UK, Denmark and Asia, as well as having a strong presence in the Australian market. Judge Simon Marnie said the wine company not only impressed the judges with all aspects of its triple bottom line impact, but also with its winemaker’s enthusiasm and skills for the craft: “Lindsay McCall pursues his passion from the soil to the bottle.” 2008 Country Valley Lush Traditional Handmade Natural Yoghurt New South Wales www.countryvalley.com.au In 2008, the lush traditional handmade yoghurt made by John and Sally Fairley won over the hearts and tastebuds, of the President’s Medal judges. Their Picton property in NSW has been home to generations of the Fairley family for 150 years. John Fairley took over the 300-acre dairy in 2001 and now runs 145 Freisian/Jersey crosses on its lush pastures. John said winning the President’s Medal was “just like winning an Oscar” and produced a great opportunity for him to revisit Country Valley’s quality standards and triple bottom line. The win has done many things for his business, he said, not least the increased sales and opportunity to get the yoghurt onto Woolworths supermarket shelves. “As for the $10,000 [prize money], it is always handy to get that sort of prize money but at the time we were in horrific drought and we spent it on feed for the cows!” he said. 2007 Hardys Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2004 South Australia www.hardyswines.com Hardys wine has been around since 1853 but, in 2007, it produced a wine so outstanding that it was deemed worthy of the President’s Medal. The winning drop was the 2004 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, a wine that brand ambassador Bill Hardy said the company is particularly proud of as it was released in honour of his grandmother Eileen Hardy. Eileen Hardy played a pivotal role in the success of Hardys wines, he said, and was the first Australian woman to receive an OBE for services to the wine industry. Hardys directed its $10,000 prize money into advertising. “The award has helped us communicate the rich heritage and passion associated with, not just this particular wine, but all Hardys wines,” Chief Winemaker Paul Lapsley said. 2006 Tathra Oysters Sydney Rock Oysters New South Wales www.tathraoysters.com.au For the past 20 years, Gary and Jo Rodely have been farming award-winning oysters in the pristine waters of Nelson Lake located in NSW’s Mimosa Rocks National Park. Environmental sustainability is at the heart of the family business, with all oysters bred and grown on site and only eco-friendly materials used. Even wastewater is recycled to maintain local parks and gardens. Winning the 2006 President’s Medal generated some “amazing” press coverage, and Jo said being recognised as a quality producer who is also environmentally sensitive and socially responsible has brought their oysters to the attention of a far wider range of customers. “Being a small business, the $10,000 prize was also especially significant for us,” Jo said. “We immediately turned the prize money into increased infrastructure which, six years later, is now having a significant ‘multiplier effect’ on our bottom line.”