Local farmers win gold at Australian Food Awards

Joanne and Craig Stewart, owners of the Gourmet Goat Lady are celebrating an amazing win after taking home Gold in the 2017 Australian Food Awards for their goat chevon racks.

The Australian Food Awards, conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, allows Australian producers to leverage their success locally and internationally with Australian Food Award’s national brand seal of quality. 

Entrants have the opportunity to benchmark against set criteria; receive invaluable independent feedback from industry experts; and be rewarded for excellence.

This was the second time that the Stewart’s had entered the annual awards and Jo said she was pleased they had won the medal.

“Our aim is to produce the best quality farmed goat meat, and it appears we are on track. That is exciting, we don’t want to do it just for a completion, but consistently for our customers,” she said.

The Stewart’s originally just farmed beef cattle on their property ‘Buena Vista’ near Collie in central western NSW,  but in 2008 a friend gave their daughter, Abbey, a pet goat Jo instantly fell in love with them and decided to buy more.

While on holidays Jo realised just how much people were making for their beef products after a trip to the butchers and had the idea of going into the business.

“We had always given meat away to friends and family when they came to visit and we were told how wonderful it was, so I thought I should sell, beef,” she said.

“I went to Mark Gardner at Vanguard Business in Dubbo. He suggested that there was a lot of people selling beef, why not sell goat! I was like okay. That was in 2009. The first year we sold 14 capretto to an Italian restaurant, and we were in business.”

For almost 10 years the family business has gone from strength to strength and the Gourmet Goat Lady now sell their beef and goat products to a range of butchers in regional and metropolitan areas of NSW

Jo said it it was “onwards and upwards” from here and hopes to continue building lasting relationships with their customers, wholesalers and restaurants and to double their production in the next two years.

But more importantly Jo said they hope to “never lose sight of what beautiful animals, they (goats) are, and to enjoy them.”

Customers looking to purchase the award-winning The Gourmet Goat Lady produce are encouraged to visit www.thegourmetgoatlady.com.au for more information.