A community owned and operated business supporting small family farms, agricultural diversity and consumer choice has been named winner of the Rural Solutions SA Service to Industry category of the Premier's Food Awards 2008.
The Adelaide Showground Farmers Market provides a unique business incubation service to new and diverse food businesses in SA by providing a marketing, promotional and cost effective business support umbrella by exposing the businesses to over 3000 customers every week.
Moving from Willunga to the Showground in 2006, each week it offers a unique insight into SA's food industry, with easy access to an extensive range of fresh and tasty local produce.
Now boasting 1800 paid members, importantly it provides a service that allows small food businesses to increase their cash flow on a weekly basis, so crucial for their future.
The marketplace environment also helps to build stronger communities with improved social, economic and health outcomes.
Project Manager Zannie Flanagan said this direct contact with customers allows these businesses to tell their story and build a loyal customer base, providing a very cost effective market research opportunity that is often outside small business capability.
"It also provides an affordable customer direct outlet for all produce, such as close to use by date, wind fall fruit or undersized fruit not acceptable to large retailers," she said.
The other finalists in the Services to Industry award were SA Freight Council and Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen's Association.
Rural Solutions SA Executive Director Locky McLaren told the gathering at this year's awards there were many ways of adding value through services to the food industry.
"These include packaging, transport and logistics, business development, training, media and promotion, and wholesale and retail services," he said.
"This diversity is reflected in the variety of business vying for the Rural Solutions SA Services to Industry Award this year.
"We have contrasting finalists - marketing our State's produce, improving efficiency along the logistics chain and stimulating fisheries development. All demonstrate true innovation in their business approach and richly deserve recognition."
Mr McLaren said that as a South Australian Government owned business Rural Solutions SA worked with many businesses, industry sectors and rural communities.
"Food industries face many challenges at the moment and it is critical that all services add value in their business," he said.
"In the last 12 months Rural Solutions SA has developed a strong collaboration with Professor Andrew Fearne, our most recent Thinker in Residence in South Australia.
"Along with many others we have reaped the benefit of his leading edge thinking on value chain strategies."
"Increasingly we are seeing our consultants in demand nationally and internationally, from consumers back to the farm in meat, grain, seafood, fruit and vegetables and wine."
The 11th Premier's Food Awards hosted by Premier Mike Rann were held recently at the new Goyder Pavilion at Adelaide Showground.
Rural Solutions SA
Rural Solutions SA (www.ruralsolutions.sa.gov.au/) is a multi-faceted consultancy business combining economic, environmental and social dimensions.
It has a 100-year heritage of delivering regional services and solutions from its origins as part of the South Australian Department of Agriculture.
Since launched in 1998, the business has undergone a transformation into a consultancy business with a mix of expertise in a wide range of disciplines, associated with the environment and natural resources management as well as regional, community and industry development.
Expansion and growth sees us providing services in an extensive range of new market areas where we have gained expertise and a reputation for quality services, delivered on-time and to specification. Rural Solutions SA:
- Operates in urban as well as rural environments.
- Provides services throughout South Australia, Australia and the world.
- Has regional connections ingrained and highly valued in communities.
- Values our people as the key assets of our business.
- Offers our customers an extensive range of services and combinations of expertise and skills, delivered by people who care.
P: 08 8226 0428
M: 0438 440 229