The winner of last year’s Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award in the livestock category is encouraging other livestock producers to nominate for the 2012 awards, which are currently open for nominations.
Operations Manager Mario Bonaccordo said the win last year had many benefits for the company, including increased consumer awareness and exposure for the business.
“It’s definitely been good for business,” Mr Bonaccordo said of the award. “It is making people have more confidence in who their supplier is, in where the product is coming from and how it gets to them.
“I think it’s made the company itself and the farmers involved in Pepe’s very proud of where we are all at today.”
Founded in 1973 by Mr Bonaccordo’s father Pepe as a backyard business with just 22 Pekin ducks, the company now supplies 80,000 birds a week out of its facility at Windsor, NSW, and is the largest producer of ducks in Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Bonaccordo said good biosecurity is all about security: “It’s securing what we do for a living and it is about securing safe food for the local market, so it is very important to us.
“People think we are just farmers but we are handling food. We are looking after animals that go to our consumers and we want to make sure it is A1 quality and free from disease.
“It’s about doing the right thing for the consumers.
“And now the award has made us strive to do even better than what we were doing. You can always improve and from the farmers’ point of view it’s been a great thing,” he said.
Sponsored by Plant Health Australia and Animal Health Australia, the Biosecurity Farmer of the Year award is hosted by Kondinin Group and ABC Rural. It recognises the efforts of producers dedicated to keeping their operations free of diseases, pests and weeds.
Nominations close on 3 August 2012 and producers can self-nominate or nominate a farmer they know is active in keeping their farming business free of diseases, pests and weeds.
To nominate or for more information, visit www.kondiningroup.com.au or contact Kondinin Group on 1800 677 761. Winners of the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards will be announced at a celebratory dinner in Melbourne on 12 September 2012.