WA produce was in the spotlight at the Royal Agricultural Society of WA’s (RASWA) Claremont Showgrounds last week with the launch of the Perth Royal Food Awards (PRFA).
The rebranding of RASWA’s former Premium Produce Awards will see two new categories of sausages and chocolate added to existing classes for beer, bread and pastry, olives, dairy, condiments and wine judged between June and September and culminating in promotional exposure at the 2017 IGA Perth Royal Show and beyond.
RASWA president Paul Carter said the aim was to highlight the amazing produce available in WA, provide due recognition to producers and provide a direct and recognised pathway to the consumer in order to provide greater value back to the farmgate.
Award winners will be given direction and assistance by RASWA in marketing their products and will be able to highlight their success by using RASWA PRFA gold, silver and bronze labels as a mark of quality at point of sale.
“These awards are even more relevant as we move to a more artisan style of food and our two new categories of sausages and chocolate fit that perfectly,” Mr Carter said.
“For the future we are looking at cider, coffee, smallgoods and distilling.
“And we are seeking greater community and government support.”
Mr Carter said the awards would also align to its hugely successful Taste WA program, started last year to showcase WA’s small and large food and beverage operators and companies.
“This year we are offering an after 5pm show ticket for those wanting to come for a special dining experience and take in the quality evening entertainment and fireworks,” he said.
Celebrity butcher Vince Garreffa, Mondo Meats, who also spoke at the launch, said the awards would provide a lifeline to the many people producing great products with limited or no recognition.
“It will give people the confidence to innovate and something to aspire to,” he said.
“Many farmers are having a tough time at present and we as consumers are part of the answer.”
Mr Garreffa said he was particularly enthusiastic about the new sausage competition, saying he hoped it would create some excitement around butchering and help lure more young people into the industry.
The 2017 IGA Perth Royal Show runs for eight days starting on Saturday, September 23.
p See social pictures from the launch on page 26, Section 2 of today’s edition.