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Arcadian cleans up at Australian Food Awards

BIG WIN: Arcadian Organic and Natural Meats marketing manager Paul da Silva (left) and sales manager Jamie Ferguson celebrate winning gold, silver and bronze in the Australian Food Awards.
BIG WIN: Arcadian Organic and Natural Meats marketing manager Paul da Silva (left) and sales manager Jamie Ferguson celebrate winning gold, silver and bronze in the Australian Food Awards. Megan Masters

YOU don't need to spend long in a room with the team at Arcadian Organic and Natural Meats to sense the immense pride in the brand.

Marketing manager Paul da Silva said while it was unusual to place a lot of emphasis on branding meat, there was pretty sound reasoning when you sold a product unlike much else on the market.

So when Arcadian picked up gold, silver and bronze medals in the Australian Food Awards, run by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, it just strengthened the company's resolve.

Mr da Silva said the company marketed its organic beef under the Cleaver's brand, while the free range pork was sold under the Borrowdale Free Range label.

The pork section is quite new to the business after being added in 2014, so it was cause for extra celebration that Borrowdale's bacon and dry aged prosciutto picked up gold, while the fresh free range pork nabbed silver.

The Cleaver's minty organic lamb sausages got bronze.

Arcadian is based in Toowoomba with a team of 14 people but also has a processing plant in Newcastle that employs a further 70.

But it all started with a couple of young farmers out in the paddocks of western Queensland more than a decade ago, talking about the new opportunities available in producing organic meat.

These days those two farmers, Peter Gall and Alister Ferguson, work as livestock manager and chief executive officer respectively, guiding the company to further success.

Mr da Silva said it was all about recognising that people who wanted organic often wouldn't settle for second best on quality.

"When organic first started it was a new industry and the pool of available organic livestock was only growing,” he said.

"Now what we're doing is really focussing on quality that wasn't there before.

"We've got really long-term farmers in the system and it's not just about complying with organic standards but the eating quality and happy customers.”

Sales manager Jamie Ferguson said it was exciting times for the business as it continued its global expansion. It was already exporting pork to Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam, with Japan firmly in its sights.

The beef products are exported to 10 countries.

He said the Borrowdale brand was on the rise and already served in a number of Australia's top restaurants, while Cleaver's, Australia's oldest organic meat brand, was available in more than 900 supermarkets nationally.

Mr da Silva said they were up against the cream of the crop in the Australian Food Awards, which attracted entries from top companies already selling globally and not limited to organic or free range.

Topics:  arcadian natural and organic meats australian food awards free range pork organic beef rasv food awards toowoomba


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