THE winners of the 2019 Sydney Markets Fresh Awards were announced at an awards ceremony at The Star in Sydney last month, with the best greengrocers, florists, growers, wholesalers and fresh bloggers from across NSW and the ACT recognised for being the top of their fields.
The Fresh Awards are one of the industry's most highly-regarded accolades.
They encourage and recognise best practice and innovation in the growing, retailing and wholesaling of fresh produce and flowers.
Sydney Markets' Fresh Awards manager, Sue Dodd, said the finalists this year once again raised the bar.
"Our Fresh Award winners are some of the heroes of our industry," Ms Dodd said.
"In an ever-changing society, these local businesses have remained cornerstones of our local communities because they have adapted and maintained their relevance to modern consumers."
The Fresh Awards are decided by an in-depth judging process that is carried out by a panel of industry experts and a band of mystery shoppers over a period of six months.
Nominated businesses are assessed based on things like store appearance, customer service, product knowledge, produce quality, range, freshness, innovation, WHS, food safety and environmentally sustainability.
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Sydney Markets chief executive officer, Brad Latham, said the entire markets community takes great pride in honouring these industry leaders for their hard work and dedication.
"These thriving local businesses have continued to aim high and deliver to an exceptional standard," Mr Latham said.
"They deserve to be recognised and celebrated for their commitment to our industry.
"Many of these businesses have been running successfully for generations. Some have been passed along through families, others have been built by unbreakable partnerships.
The winners were:
Greengrocer of the Year: Kareela Grocer, Kareela
Service Excellence: Farmer Bob's Fruit Market Brewery Lane, Tamworth
Retail Presentation: Parisi's Food Hall, Rose Bay
Knowledge in Action: Freshworld, Maroubra
Best Small Business: Fruiticious, Gymea
Best Medium Business: Ziggy's Fresh, Fyshwick
Best Large Business: Minto's Fruit Orchard, Minto
Florist of the Year: Jodie McGregor Flowers, Annandale
Service Excellence: Bella Floral Boutique, Morisset
Retail Presentation: Eden Flower Studio, Mount Annan
Merchandising & Branding: Touchwood Flowers, Port Macquarie
Flower Grower of the Year: Commercial Flower Growers, Kenthurst
Produce Grower of the Year: D Fresh Produce, Mangrove Mountain
Fresh Produce Wholesaler of the Year: Export Fresh, Sydney Markets
Fresh Blogger of the Year: Sonali Ghosh, Sugar et al