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A subscription-based business that enables locals to buy fresh fish directly from fishermen in South Australia has been recognised among Australia’s top producers at the 2018 delicious. Produce Awards.

The Port-Adelaide business, called Fair Fish, was named Trophy Winner of the ‘Outstanding Innovation’ Award – presented by Miele – at the gala event, which took place in Sydney earlier this month.

An initiative of Wildcatch Fisheries – the peak body for South Australia’s commercial fishing industry – Fair Fish utilises a unique app and website platform to connect fishermen with their local community, enabling local customers to buy fish fresh off the boat.

Every week, locals can prepay for a share of the catch from a local fisherman. The selection of fish – which changes every week – can then be picked up and comes with details of the fisherman who caught it along with recipe ideas.

In order to drive sustainability, customers are given a primary species (such as whiting, or snapper) and a secondary species, which may be something less common, as a way of raising awareness for those lesser known types.

Fair Fish Project Manager, Tom Cosentino, said he was both surprised and honoured to win the award.

“I was at the awards supporting three local fishermen that I had selected for an award and couldn’t believe it when my name was read out.

“It was such an honour to be recognised at such a well-known and respected award ceremony.”

The Outstanding Innovation award is given to an individual, business, group or community in the food or agriculture industry who demonstrates outstanding innovation in the production of food and using sustainable methods to achieve such innovation.

“Sustainability is high on the agenda right now, and we were thrilled to shine a light on Fair Fish for the work that they do in supporting local fishermen in South Australia and the industry as a whole,” said a Miele spokesperson.

Mr Cosentino says Fair Fish was developed last year to address two key industry issues –education around what local fisherman do and assisting them to obtain a ‘fair price’ for their catch.

“The public don’t really know a lot about fish. We’ve got this idea in the community that these big boats come in and take all the fish and there’s nothing left. Our goal was to tell the story of these fishermen and what actually goes on.

“Some of our guys go out in very small wooden – and often hand made boats – with no technology on board and sometimes they’ll only catch one bucket of fish.

“The other issue we want to address is that with competition in the fishing industry, local smaller fishermen weren’t receiving a fair price for the risk they were taking every day to catch the fish.

“We also wanted to remove these smaller scale fishermen from their digital ‘black hole’ – they have no access to technology, no ability to make their channel to market any better.”

Now in their thirteenth year, the delicious. Produce Awards are designed to celebrate Australia’s most inspiring sustainable producers, farmers’ markets, innovators as well as regional and emerging chefs.

Mr Cosentino said the awards played a very important role in supporting and recognising the country’s food industry leaders.

“These people are out there really breaking their backs and are so passionate about their work, so to have the recognition of people who are really influential in the community, it’s just so important to them.”

“It’s a lot like being told that the community and your industry appreciates what you do and why you do it – it’s really rewarding.”

Tatjana Switajewski, Head of Marketing Communications at Miele Australia said, “Miele’s sponsorship of the Outstanding Innovation Award is a reflection of our commitment to invention and forward-thinking design. Our cutting-edge appliances work hand in hand with the country’s best produce and paddock-to-plate philosophies which were all on show and celebrated at the awards”.

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