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Food branded Barossa need be exactly that

31 May 2013

Barossa’s trademark for quality, authentic food must be protected against exploitation, according to Barossa Food; the umbrella organisation representing the interests of the region’s food producers.

This statement comes on the back of last week’s finding that a Victorian-based business is being investigated by South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services for selling caged eggs under the brand “Barossa Ridge Farms.”

Barossa Food (Food Barossa Inc) co-founder Jan Angas says it’s not the first time the Barossa’s name has been taken advantage of for its marketing value, without acknowledging the commitment to integrity that created that value.

"It’s not acceptable that the principles of our region’s producers are compromised,” Angas says. “That’s why Barossa Food will continue to keep the debate to improve food labeling legislation on the table with state government. In the long run, we’d prefer a solution, not a patch up job.”

The region’s two Farmers Markets, trading each Saturday at Angaston and Mt Pleasant offer consumers the absolute guarantee they are buying local produce – be it eggs, apples or beef.

Barossa Farmers Market Manager Jess Greatwich calls the two markets “the cellar door to Barossa’s food offering.”

“Buying and consuming a product labeled with its origins is high on consumers values, as is knowing the person and the source behind the product,” Greatwich says. “Shopping at the local Markets means you’ll get not only Barossa free-range eggs, but the service and a smile from the person who keeps the chooks, stamps the eggs and packs the cartons.”

Barossa’s enviable food culture comes from the homes and hearts of families who over the generations continue to open their front doors to the world to experience the farming and culinary traditions of the region.

A common goal for Barossa Food and its supporters is to ensure this is protected, respected and trusted, and has been the foundation stone for the organisation since it was established in 2001. This has been achieved by working with government and sponsors to raise funds, as well as loyal and new members through information sharing and pooling of resources.

Members’ products include poultry, pork, game and lamb; milk, ice-cream and cheese; bread, noodles, pastry, lavosh and cookies; preserves, pastes, pickles and condiments; artisanal small goods and the region’s famed butchers and their smoked meats. Supporting businesses include local restaurants, independent grocers, wineries that share the region’s food across their tables, and the vibrant Farmers Markets. The common link is a commitment to the integrity of the region handed down over six generations.

“If a Victorian business needs to borrow our region’s goodwill and not its own to sell its products, then it’s a backhanded compliment in a way – but one we won’t take lying down.”

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