POTATOES SA raised a record $16,850 at its annual dinner, which was attended by 140 industry stakeholders and held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide late last month.
Elders SA stud stock manager Tony Wetherall conducted an auction of new-season baby potatoes, which is the only one of its kind in Australia.
The auction for the Little Heroes Foundation is held annually in spring and it is evolving into an increasingly larger event.
It resulted in a final bid of $10,250 by Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce chief executive officer Rod Knight.
This price was paid for 10 kilograms, equating to the potatoes selling for $1.02 million a tonne.
The final potato bid was a just shy of last year’s record of $11,000 set by The Mitolo Group.
Mr Knight was also appointed as a new director on the Potatoes SA board earlier in the day at the association’s annual general meeting.
A new Potatoes SA corporate partner, A-Gas Rural also donated a bespoke barbecue for auction, which was sold to GTS Farms director Ross Trimboli for $2200.
After the auction, another two were sold at the same price to Kalangadoo potato growers Andrew and Tania Widdison and Nick and Helen Widdison, making the total raised from the event $16,850 – a new record total.
All proceeds from the auctions were donated to the Little Heroes Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting children living with cancer and serious illness, and their families.
Little Heroes Foundation chairman and CEO Chris McDermott said Potatoes SA had been a great supporter of the foundation for the past six years.
“This event is getting bigger and bigger and the foundation is grateful for the support of a great SA industry,” he said.
Potatoes SA CEO Robbie Davis said it was wonderful to see such united, collaborative support for the most significant sector of horticulture at both a state and national level, and for the Little Heroes Foundation.
The dinner featured potatoes prepared in a number of ways and was coordinated by National Wine Centre chef Steve Clark.