Salumi Australia is a Northern Rivers owned and operated boutique smallgoods manufacturing business located at Billinudgel, on the NSW North Coast. It is close to local farmers who are considered to be producing some of the finest pork in the world.
Salumi, which means small goods in Italian, is driven by the passion of its founder, Sardinian born Massimiliano Scalas. Massimo has travelled the world extensively as a career Chef de Cuisine and Restaurateur. He missed the wonderful salumi of his homeland Massimo and so along with co-owner, Michael Dlask, established Salumi Australia.
The aim of the company is to manufacture and provide the Australian consumer with a premium European style product that is 100% Australian made and Australian owned on the Northern Rivers. The Salumi range is an artisan product, handmade with no flavorings and unnecessary additives. The pork comes from local farmers - Bangalow Sweet Pork, Kurobuta Berkshire Pork - boasting 63% unsaturated fat, hormone and antibiotic free.
Their biggest challenge was the first six months of production.
"Setting up the company wasn't a walk in the park," Mr Dlask said.
"Our factory is made up of seven drying rooms or aging rooms and each room has its own personality to deal with.
"It took us six months to figure out each personality of the room when dealing with humidity levels and the climate outside.
"We were getting a fantastic product but we knew we could do better so we kept working on it until we were satisfied. So from September 2011 our product has improved immensely."
Salumi works with local farmers
They are also working with local pig farmers to set a standard that is specifically designed for salami.
"In Europe, you have pigs that are bred specifically for salamis but in Australia there is no standard set for pigs for such small goods. The standard is only set for bacon and ham. We are in negotiations with Northern Rivers farmers at the moment to breed a heavier, older pig. So we can get more meat and fat to make salamis, prosciutto, and pancetta," Michael said.
He said local farmers were keen to lead the rest of Australia on this new adventure, and believed the key factors to the company's success so far had been the excellent standard of the product and the business guidance given to the young organisation from The Northern Rivers Food Group.
"The Northern Rivers Food Group has been a big help to us. As a manufacturer and a new business it's important to be involved in such a group because it's given us direction when we needed it. It's vital to have feedback from customers and chefs and Food Shows are a great opportunity to educate and talk to the public about the product. You must get direct feedback to keep your business on track on public demand and Food and Wine shows are a perfect place to talk and educate people about your product on a one on one level," he said.
On the food service and retail mix for his business, Michael said he thought the Food Service would dominate but across Australia it had been on a 50/50 ratio.
Salumi Australia distributes its product locally to butchers, deli's and restaurants. The company also wholesalers to South Australia, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville, and New Zealand.