South Australian-based almond co-operative, Almondco Australia Ltd, was named the Australian Regional Exporter of the Year for the second time in five years at last night’s 54th Australian Export Awards, hosted by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo in Brisbane.
The co-operative of 140 growers spread across SA, VIC and NSW was one of twelve national winners were selected from 81 finalists, who together generated $12.3 billion in export earnings and employed 34,500 people. Judges described Almondco Australia Ltd as a strong business with positive export growth prospects and “a strong advocate of the Australian agricultural industry”.
Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) CEO, Melina Morrison said this is an important recognition of a great Australian business at a time when agricultural co-operatives are coming back into fashion.
“Co-operatives help farmers compete in global markets and improve returns to the farmgate and provide a way for smaller producers to unite to gain access to markets that favour larger players”.
Almondco Managing director Brenton Woolston said the award was the result of a team effort for the 72 year old co-operative.
“To be recognised as one of the best operators in the country underlines the quality of people involved throughout our value chain. More than one million tonnes of almonds are produced around the world every year, so to maintain a point of difference as a co-operative is very important.”