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WHY LOCALLY PRODUCED FRUIT IS A BETTER CHOICE FOR YOUR FOODSERVICE BUSINESS

It’s a question that foodservice professionals must constantly ask themselves – which is the better choice for my business, locally produced fruit or product imported from overseas?

This is not just a question of product quality – it also includes such considerations as environmental sustainability, and contribution to the local economy. And with today’s consumers more educated about these issues than in the past, there is a greater expectation that foodservice operators will choose quality local produce over imports.

Long-established Australian fruit producer SPC, whose brand is synonymous with quality fruit, is currently running an awareness campaign designed to highlight some of the benefits of choosing Australian produce.

“Over ninety per cent of our fruit is locally produced in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, one of Australia’s most productive and fertile areas with great sunlight and irrigation. It’s nurtured and grown on well-established plants – for example our pear trees are 60 to 80 years old,” points out Pooja Matharoo, SPC Brand Manager – Foodservice & Ingredients. “It’s all hand-picked and handled with great care, and all our canning fruit growers are certified according to a rigorous, independently audited Environmental Assurance Program.

“We understand that today’s foodservice operators and consumers alike care about where their fruit comes from, so we have full traceability processes enabling us to track our fruit back to its farm of origin. Australia has some of the most stringent food guidelines in the world, and the rigour that goes into our quality assurance is second to none. When you buy Australian fruit from SPC, you can be absolutely assured of what you’re getting.”

The lower number of ‘food miles’ involved in local production also makes Australian fruit a better choice in terms of environmental sustainability. Food miles is the distance the food travels from its point of origin to production and value-adding operations, then finally to its point of consumption. SPC fruit is processed and packaged in the Goulburn Valley, in close proximity to the farms where it is grown. This equates to reduced environmental impact from transport fuel and the associated factors which affect long term sustainability.

Choosing fruit from a local producer like SPC also makes sound business sense. As one of Australia’s largest packaged processed fruit and vegetable manufacturer, SPC makes a substantial economic contribution to the Goulburn Valley region. Every dollar spent on SPC products returns $1.73 to the Victorian economy* – so by choosing local produce over imported, foodservice operators are helping to make the local economy stronger, which is good for all Australian businesses including their own.

 


 

SPC’s extensive range of quality locally produced fruit includes:

Peaches – SPC is the exclusive supplier of Tatura peaches, a variety created by Australians for Australia, which are a superior product with delicious, consistent flavour, a firmer body and longer shelf life. Ideal in desserts such as cakes, pies and frangipane, they can also be grilled, pickled and used in savoury dishes to accompany red and white meats.

Apricots – SPC picks the best tasting apricots and retains their skin so they are clean and taste great. Apricots are a terrific choice for both savoury and sweet dishes from apricot chicken to upside down cakes and in jams and chutneys.

Pears – SPC oversees the ripening and texturing process to ensure optimal performance and uses a cooking process which ensures its pears stay fresh and crunchy. Pears are a popular dessert choice, also suitable for savoury dishes, and can be served in a wide variety of ways including poached, infused and pickled.

Tomatoes – SPC tomatoes are held on the vine for ripening then processed immediately to lock in flavour, peeled using nothing but steam and hot water to ensure safety and quality. A staple of winter dishes like stews, ragouts and curries, tomatoes are also ideal for chutneys, dips, and an essential ingredient in many cuisines including Indian, Italian and Mexican.

“These days, foodservice professionals and consumers alike want to know more about the products they’re buying, and we’re endeavouring to give our customers as much information as we can around the source of our product,” Pooja says. “We focus on delivering fruit of superior and consistent quality, with minimal to no impact of seasonality on its availability. This means chefs and foodservice professionals can be assured they can use our products to create and deliver quality meals all year round.”

* Source: REPLAN Study 2012

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