In 2013, Huon were named the Australian Biosecurity (animal) Farmer of the Year. In a first for the Australian Farmer of the Year awards, Huon are the first aquaculture company to receive this prestigious award.The award recognizes that farming, regardless of whether it is on land or in the water faces many of the same risks. Originally cattle and sheep farmers, Peter and Frances Bender understand how important it is to keep livestock free from the risk of disease. That is why they have worked closely with Huon's veterinarian, Steve Percival to develop a preventative health plan to ensure that diseases do not access the fish in the first place. “People often think that because we employ a veterinarian that we must have sick fish, but actually he works closely to avoid our fish getting sick initially,” said Frances Bender. “Our main focus is to produce the best quality salmon and that means fish health and biosecurity are number one in our farming practices.”
The Search began in early February as a nationwide competition to find the location of the first Australian Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Pop-up Kitchen. The pop-up kitchen is designed to be a hub from which people can become educated on how to source and prepare good, nutritious food.The search for a location for the first pop-up kitchen is proudly sponsored by Huon Aquaculture and Co-founder & Managing Director, Frances Bender said, "We were excited to see that Tasmanian communities were so motivated to apply for the pop-up kitchen. The need for food education and healthy eating programs down here is evident in our substandard health statistics so it is really important for us to be involved in these kind of programs." The Tasmanian Community Food Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens was our state finalist. They sadly missed out on the top prize, being pipped to the post by Noarlunga, from the City of Onkaparinga in South Australia, but not after being flown to Sydney for the announcement and the chance to meet Jamie himself. “Tasmania has arguably the best produce in the Southern Hemisphere, but an alarmingly high number of our community do not take advantage of this,” said Tony Kennedy from the Tasmanian Community Food Garden. The Ministry of Food Pop-up Kitchen is about inspiring even the most inexperienced cook how to make a meal from scratch. With hands-on cooking classes, people will learn all about food; where it comes from, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies so they can feed themselves and their families’ tasty, exciting, nutritious food. Further information go to www.jamiesministryoffoodpopup.com
“Today is an important chapter in the Huon story with the initiation of one of our biggest projects to date. Thank you to everyone who came to see the first sod turned and who has supported us in the lead up to this day”, said Peter Bender.The full construction brief includes building a new processing facility, upgrading the existing process facility and incorporating new offices and amenities which can cater for up to 100 staff. “We’ve talked a lot about specific changes at the farm but it’s also important to make sure that when we do upgrades of this scale that every part of our production process, from farm to factory, is world class and uses the latest technology”, said Peter Bender. We’re also very excited that this development means that for the first time we can say that all our products, from start to finish, are produced in Tasmania. Tasmania’s reputation for gourmet produce and the growing hospitality sector provides really great opportunities for local farmers and the state’s brand. You can access the media release here.