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Food businesses put study tour knowledge into practice

Released on

Released on:
Thursday, 19. September 2019 - 13:15

Western Australian food and beverage manufacturing businesses, which took part in a recent study tour to Victoria are already making positive changes to value-add their operations.

Earlier this month, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development hosted 13 WA businesses on a week-long tour of Victoria, Australia’s leading State for value-added products.

The tour group attended the inaugural Global Table conference and participants had opportunities to network with businesses and exporters, and see first-hand premium product business operations.

Department Food Innovation manager Kim Antonio said the study tour was a good example of government and business working together to grow the agri-food industry in Western Australia.

“Several companies are already applying the knowledge they gained from the tour to make changes to improve their business operations,” Mr Antonio said.

“Cowaramup Brewing is now using its previously discarded surplus hops from brewing to make bread, and trialling its popularity in their restaurant.

“Torbay Asparagus saw the benefits of investing in staff through training and incentive programs to grow the business.

“Sweeter Banana Co is investigating a number of value-adding opportunities, based on connections made while on tour.

“Rawsome are using newly formed relationships to purchase local ingredients and expand their gluten free product range.”

Mr Antonio said feedback from the tour group was positive and participants believed it was worthwhile taking the time away from their businesses to participate.

“The participants agreed the opportunity to meet with a broad range of suppliers, service providers, industry experts, Austrade commissioners and business peers was highly valuable, and not something they could organise on their own,” he said.

“They said to get insights into both the production systems and business practices of Victorian manufacturers has provided clear pathways to success.

“The group also found being able to come together from a diverse range of areas and production sectors in Western Australia provided different points of view and ways of approaching business.”

Mr Antonio acknowledged the support of Food and Wine Victoria, the Victorian State Government, Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, and the City of Ballarat in making the tour possible.

Businesses who took part in the study tour were:

Business name




Sweeter Banana Co

Doriana Mangili

Bananas and banana bread


Southern Dirt

Tracey Hodgkins

Grower group

Great Southern

Torbay Asparagus

Fiona Marshall

Asparagus and other horticultural products

Great Southern & Goldfields

Grubs Up Australia

Amanda Abou Rjeily

Insect protein products (human consumption)


Mundella Foods

Fiona Loke

Yoghurt and cheese


Cowaramup Brewing

Claire Parker


South West

The Farm House Margaret River

Ryan Walsh

Smoked meats

South West

Ryan’s Quality Meats

Greg Ryan

Beef, lamb, pork and chicken products

South West & Perth metro

Regans Ridge Organic Olives

Ellen Lee

Olives and olive oil


Australian Natural Biotechnology (Honey and other products)

Bangzhao Pan

Honey and health products (vitamins, health foods, supplements)

Perth metro based (regional product)

Great Southern Truffles

Adam Wilson

Truffles and truffle products

Perth metro based (Great Southern product)


Laila Gampfer

Raw chocolate treats and slices (gluten free)

Perth metro

Swan Valley Honey

Debbie Starr

Honey and honey products

Perth metro based (regional product)

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development took 13 WA businesses on a week-long tour of Victoria to gather knowledge on how to ‘value-add’ their operations.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development took 13 WA businesses on a week-long tour of Victoria to gather knowledge on how to ‘value-add’ their operations.

Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Katrina Bowers, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937