“The best by jar”-Entries closing soon for the Melbourne Royal Australian Food Awards Sweet and Savoury Preserves categories
Don’t leave yourself in a jam, the Melbourne Royal Australian Food Awards Sweet and Savoury Preserves categories are closing soon, and it’s the last opportunity for preserve, dressing, sauce and cordial entrepreneurs to enter for 2023.
Entries close this Friday, May 5, and it’s anticipated that this category will spark some fierce competition from some of Australia’s most respected producers.
Manager, Awards Programs – Food, Beverage & Horticulture at Melbourne Royal Damian Nieuwesteeg said the awards are open to commercial food producers of all sizes.
“The Australian Food Awards provide the opportunity for commercially available producers, from boutique operators to large-scale manufacturers, to elevate their brand, gain valuable feedback, and increase their reach among their target audience,” Damian said.
“We’ve had repeat entries who have continually evolved their products based on the comprehensive feedback provided by some of the most well-regarded experts in the industry.
It’s been rewarding to see their entries increase in standard each time based on this and to see these producers see an uptick in sales as a result.”
The awards are returning after a three-year hiatus with the 2019 winners going from strength to strength.
“We are certainly seeing an increase in food businesses following the pandemic, and within this category fermented product and cordials are proving popular,” Damian said.
“Lockdown microbusinesses are growing into boutique brands, and the awards offer them the leverage to go beyond their own online stores and enter the specialty retail space.
“The winner of the Savoury Preserve category in 2019 was Beetroot Rhubarb Relish from Queensland’s Ugly Duck Preserves, with Tasmania’s Rocky Gardens Fine Foods with its
Whisky Marmalade taking out both the Sweet Preserves medal and the Champion Australian Preserve.
“The Rhubarb Beetroot Relish is a great example of innovation, with the producers sourcing rhubarb stems that can’t be sold in a supermarket or greengrocer – they’re too thin, short orgreen, other stems are broken or damaged in some way – to make this award-winning preserve.
“It’s a similar story for the 2018 Sweet Preserves winner, Wild Pepper Isle Bush Jelly, which is made from quinces sourced from backyards around Hobart, as well as wild harvest pepper berry and lemon myrtle.”
“For those organisations and makers who win an Australian Food Award, it can be life changing.”
There are 12 classes of entry in this category including:
Best savoury chutney, relish or jam;
Best vinegar or dressing;
Best savoury sauce or paste;
Best pickled, fermented or preserved fruit or vegetables;
Best other savoury preserves;
Best conserve or marmalade;
Best fruit paste, curd, jelly or butter;
Best sweet dressings and sauces;
Best syrups and cordials; and
Best other sweet preserves.
Full details of the categories and classes and how to enter the awards can be found at melbourneroyal.com.au/food.
About Melbourne Royal
Melbourne Royal, previously The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, conducts the Melbourne Royal Show, Victoria’s largest and best-loved community event, which attracts more than 450,000 visitors over 11 days each year.
The organisation has conducted the Australian Food Awards under different guises since the 1870s when Dairy Produce was among the Exhibits of Show in 1874 and included sections for cheese, salt butter, bacon and hams, and fresh butter. The awards have been on hiatus since 2019 and the start of the pandemic, during which time the categories and program has undergone review. Melbourne Royal also develops and delivers other agricultural, food and beverage events, and manages Melbourne Showgrounds.