Marron, oysters and kingfish amongst delicious. Award state winners

MARRON: Ben Underdown, Astyn Reid and Isabella Underdown with an example of Coffin Bay Marron's catch. Photo: With Love Photography and Kinship Productions
MARRON: Ben Underdown, Astyn Reid and Isabella Underdown with an example of Coffin Bay Marron's catch. Photo: With Love Photography and Kinship Productions

The Eyre Peninsula region has again emerged as a big winner in the seafood category in the delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards with four of the state winners connected to the region.

In its 16th year the awards celebrates and honours the top producer and the the produce they provide across the country, recognising areas including quality and innovation.

Winners have been announced in each state for the categories of dairy, earth, paddock and sea.

Past state winners Gazander Oysters and Clean Seas have been announced as two of the five 'sea' category winners for South Australia for their premium pacific oysters and Spencer Gulf Hiramasa Kingfish respectfully.

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However there is a new kid on the block who has earned their first accolade with Coffin Bay Marron also announced as a state winner about one year after officially launching.

Located at Coffin Bay, owners Ben Underdown and Astyn Reid have created their own unique piece of the Eyre Peninsula food puzzle, selling freshwater crayfish such as marron and yabbies.

Ms Reid said they had bought their farm two and a half years ago and had spent the time growing the crayfish population up to the point where they could launch the business.

"We had a goal last year when launching the business that one day we would win a delicious. award, thinking it may be years down the track and we got it this year, so we're very happy," she said.

GUESTS: Ben Underdown and Astyn Reid with special guests Maggie Beer and Darren Robinson. Photo: With Love Photography and Kinship Productions

GUESTS: Ben Underdown and Astyn Reid with special guests Maggie Beer and Darren Robinson. Photo: With Love Photography and Kinship Productions

"It's definitely encouraging because a lot of work and time was put into here so it nice to see we're moving in the right direction."

Coffin Bay Marron had some special guests on site for a Tasting Australia event, with special guests Darren Robinson, Maggie Beer and Emma McCaskill getting a closer look at the facilities and a taste of the product.

Mr Underdown said the product has made its way to local restaurants as well as to Adelaide and Mount Gambier, and as far as Sydney and Melbourne.

"We're really grateful and proud, and thank everyone invovled in the awards," he said.

"We congratulate the other winners as well, it makes us proud to be on the Eyre Peninsula."

Gazander Oysters have featured among the state winners in the seafood category for the fifth straight year.

Owner Steve 'Thommo' Thomson said being named among the state winners provides great recognition for the business and the product it provides to customers.

He said the company was focused more on consistency of quality rather than consistency of quantity.

OCEANIC: Steve 'Thommo' Thomson out on one of the oyster leases for Gazander Oysters. Photo: supplied

OCEANIC: Steve 'Thommo' Thomson out on one of the oyster leases for Gazander Oysters. Photo: supplied

While Gazander is proud of its individual accomplishments, it was also about recognition for the state's oyster industry.

"For us it's about keeping the SA oyster growing industry front and centre," he said.

Clean Seas has also had previous experience with delicious. honours, with its Hiramasa Kingfish featuring amongst past state winners and earning a national gold medal in 2018.

Chief executive officer Rob Gratton said Clean Seas was proud of the quality of its product and its sustainable credentials.

"Any recognition like this is a great endorsement for our team," he said.

Other state winners were Ausab/Yumbah for its frozen greenlip abalone and Two Gulfs Crab for its blue swimmer crab meat.

State winners will now move on to the national judging panel this month to decide the 2021 gold medal winners.

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