In a resounding victory for sustainable aquaculture, Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm emerged as the standout performer at this year's Royal Fine Food Awards, held on Saturday night at Sydney Olympic Park. Presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, these prestigious awards serve as the ultimate recognition for Australian producers who push the boundaries of excellence in agriculture, particularly in the realm of food and beverages.
As the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW aptly puts it, "Rest assured that any product awarded a Sydney Royal medal is a testament to its unwavering commitment to excellence."
Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm claimed the coveted gold medal for their plate-sized barramundi and a silver medal for their whole fish. The competition in the aquaculture category was nothing short of fierce, with barramundi facing off against an impressive array of competitors, including rainbow trout, Murray cod, John Dory, mulloway, ocean trout, and salmon.
Mark Hober, General Manager of Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm, expressed his delight at the recognition his barramundi received in such a diverse field of contenders. He emphasized the importance of participating in events like the Fine Food Show, which provides an invaluable benchmark for the industry. Hober noted, "Results from the esteemed panel of judges help our team understand our product better and where we can improve and innovate. It is great recognition for the dedication of our passionate staff."
The Royal Fine Food Awards: A Celebration of Excellence
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW has a storied history spanning over two centuries, dedicated to shaping the future of Australian agriculture and elevating Australian produce to the highest quality standards. The Sydney Royal Competitions are a cornerstone of this mission, showcasing producers from rural and regional communities, creating new markets, and setting benchmarks for excellence in various industries.
This year's judging panel was comprised of accomplished and knowledgeable experts, including John Susman, CEO of seafood industry agency Fishtales, executive chefs Josh Niland from Saint Peter and Sean Connolly from Morrison Hotel, and many more prominent figures from the food and beverage world.
Medal Awards and Culinary Delights
The Sydney Royal Medal Awards were bestowed during the Grape, Grain & Graze Festival at Sydney Olympic Park, where hundreds of attendees had the unique opportunity to interact with the medal-winning producers. Chefs, buyers, and industry decision-makers indulged in delectable food and wine, fostering meaningful connections while savoring tantalizing flavors.
Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm: A Sustainable Success Story
Nestled on a 49-hectare property along the Daintree River, surrounded by the splendor of World Heritage-listed rainforests, the Coral Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm is a beacon of sustainable aquaculture. The farm boasts 14 earthen ponds spanning 3.3 hectares, including production ponds, a fingerling pond, and a recreational fishing pond for tourists.
General Manager and Company Director Mark Hober, a Daintree local, oversees the farm's operation. He has a deep-rooted passion for barramundi, nurtured through years of fishing in the Daintree River.
Hober's commitment to industry-leading innovation, sustainability, and premium quality is evident in the farm's operations. "Our team implements best practices and husbandry techniques, under strict accordance with environmental management guidelines. This ensures we provide optimum growing conditions for our fish, while respect for maintaining the delicate balance of our surrounding ecosystem remains paramount," he says.
Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm has a storied history of award-winning excellence, including the prestigious Sydney Royal Champion Award and multiple Gold and Silver Awards for their plate-sized and whole fish since 2006.
As a testament to their dedication and unwavering commitment to producing top-quality barramundi, the farm recently released Spring fingerlings into its ponds. These fingerlings, carefully selected from local hatcheries, undergo intensive nurturing to reach commercial size over 12 to 18 months, ensuring that only the highest-quality fish make their way to consumers' tables.
Daintree Saltwater Barramundi Farm's success story is a testament to the spirit of innovation, sustainability, and unwavering dedication to excellence that defines the Australian agricultural landscape.
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