A lot has happened since our last newsletter. We have had a very busy few months, full of some exciting events that we have been very grateful and honoured to be a part of. It was incredibly exciting to hear that we had won the National Delicious Awards and thrilling to attend the ceremony. As well as being asked to speak at two other events: Straight to the Source Panel at Fine Food Australia and at the Opening Night of Feather and Bone’s new providore in Waverley. And if all that wasn’t enough just last weekend, we took our main staff members Kaitlyn Budd and Ryan Pyne on a trip to Sydney to give them the opportunity to see the other side, to see what happens when the chicken leaves the farm. It was as very jampacked weekend with tours of Feather and Bone, Vic’s Meats, Victor Churchill, Hudson Meats, and a very delicious dinner at one of the restaurants that sells our chicken Hotel Centennial.
We have spoken about the Delicious Awards in previous newsletters however, here is a brief recap. Delicious is a website/magazine that is all about Australian food and once a year they hold the Delicious Produce Awards which aims to shine a light on incredible Australian producers that are “making waves, changing the conversation and disrupting the status quo with sustainable food practices.” They are all about giving recognition to those who make an impact, stand out from the crowd, and focus on “environmental sustainability, provenance, species diversify, preservation and the local community.” There are different categories, ours being “From the Paddock” so we are not only up against poultry but all different kinds of meats. You must be nominated to enter and then the produce is judged against a panel of Australia’s best chefs. We have won the state division five years in a row, and this is our first-time wining national trophy, so we are thrilled! Receiving recognition for our hard work is always a great feeling, however the reason we love these awards so much is it provides us a platform to share what we do and educate others on the sustainable food practices that are essential to the way we do things here at Grassland Poultry.
This time round we got to attend the awards ceremony to give an acceptance speech, the whole evening was fabulous. It was held at Matt Moran’s restaurant Chiswick in Woollahra and had a wonderful mix of people. Delicious readers got to attend, so we got to meet some of our customers and talk about their experiences with our product. It’s always great to get the opportunity to share with them. We were seated on a table with all the other produce winners which was inspiring to hear all about the wonderful things they are doing in their respective industries. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, we also got to meet the esteemed judges and some food industry icons, and yes Maggie Beer is just as lovely in person as you imagine her to be. All the food on the menu for the evening, was produce from the winners and of course delicious (pun intended). Chophouse chef Scott Kim did a wonderful job with our chicken.
The industry events did not stop there. We have always been firm believers that education is the best catalyst for change, which is why informing our customers on how and why we do things is such an important part of our business model. What we are trying to do is so much more than just sell a product, we are trying to be a catalyst for change within the food industry. And to do that people need to be aware of who and what they are supporting. There is a quote we always go back to for a reason “You are not just buying a product; you’re casting a vote for a production system and the sort of world in which you want to live” (The Ethical Omnivore). For us the best thing people can do is be a conscientious consumer, which means we at Grassland Poultry need to use our voice to educate the community to give them the tools to do so. We have learnt so much since starting this enterprise, it seems only right to share what we know. It speaks volumes that our supporters also see the value in having this dialogue with the consumers and provide opportunities for it to take place. Feather and Bone owners Laura Dalrymple and Grant Hilliard have recently opened a second providore in Waverly and to mark the occasion they are doing Q&A evenings with their farmers, providing their customers the opportunity to hear straight from the horse’s mouth. It was such a wonderful evening, eating our chicken (once again beautifully prepared) and answering some very insightful questions, chatting in-depth about the food industry and what we do differently to others.
We were also very chuffed and honoured to be invited to be speak on a panel with other leaders of the regenerative food industry. Fine Food Australia held a trade fair at the Melbourne Convention Centre, where Straight to the Source curated a panel to delve into Australian produce, ideas, and provenance. Along side Bundarra Berkshires’ Lauren Mathers and Feather and Bone’s Grant Hilliard we got to educate people about where their food comes from and how to grow it in a regenerative way that still looks after the environment. Grant spoke to the difference between our birds and the industry standard birds which sparked a lot of insightful questions. The Straight to the Source team Tawnya Bahr and Lucy Allon also did a fabulous job cooking our chicken so they patrons could try the difference for themselves. We are so incredible humbled that people are looking to us, to share and inform consumers about what we do, the impact of food systems and how regenerative agriculture can be utilised. We are also so incredibly grateful that we have found a customer base that is engaged and interested in learning more and doing better.
As always, we like to include a recipe and figured this one was pretty exciting. Chef and My Kitchen Rules guest judge Colin Fassnidge dropped by The Morning Show to cook a recipe with our chicken! He combines everything into a flavourful, one-tray bake, check it out
Kim and Bryan Kiss, Grassland Poultry