NEW South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory's top florists, greengrocers, providores, wholesalers and content creators have been acknowledged in this year's Sydney Markets Fresh Awards.
For the first time, the Fresh Awards winners were announced virtually during an online ceremony on November 12.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the Sydney Markets cancelled this year's soiree with chief executive officer Brad Latham and chairman John Pearson revealing the 16 winners via video.
The Fresh Awards presentation ceremony was then held on November 17 on the markets floor with master of ceremonies Chris Bath presenting the winners with their trophies.
This year saw 41 finalists recognised across 16 categories which, for the first time, included Fresh Content and Providore of the Year awards.
Retailers and growers were evaluated through an intensive mystery shopping program.
They were judged on everything from produce quality and freshness, customer service and industry knowledge, as well as their store appearance and innovative approaches.
Fresh content creators were assessed by a panel of esteemed judges including journalists, authors and industry experts.
The Fresh Awards encourage and acknowledge best practice and innovation in the growing, retailing, wholesaling and content creation of fresh produce and flowers.
Mr Latham said the Fresh Award contenders were some of the heroes of the industry.
"They have had to navigate some of the most challenging times in business with many not only surviving, but thriving," he said.
"These small businesses have remained cornerstones of our local communities, pivoting and adapting to ensure they can continue to service their customers.
"These businesses are a credit to themselves, and to the industry in general. They work tirelessly to deliver top quality produce, customer service and value for money.
"We were determined to give our Fresh Awards finalists and winners the moment in the spotlight they deserve and celebrate their commitment to our industry.
Greengrocer of the Year: Ziggy's Fresh, Fyshwick
Retail Presentation: Parisi's Food Hall, Rose Bay.
Knowledge in Action: Fruit For All, Berkeley Vale.
Service Excellence: Kareela Grocer, Kareela.
Best Small Business: Jannali Quality Fruit and Vegetables, Jannali.
Best Medium Business: Mountain Fresh Growers, Winmalee.
Best Large Business: Tom's Superfruits, Belconnen.
Produce Grower of the Year: Gourmet Herbs, Glossodia.
Flower Grower of the Year: S & P Dominello Flower Growers, Peats Ridge.
Wholesaler of the Year: Perfection Fresh.
Providore of the Year Award: Gourmand Providore.
Florist of the Year: Bella Floral Boutique, Morisset.
Retail Presentation: Art of Bloom, Balmain.
Service Excellence: Vanessa Pringle Floral Designs, Bathurst.
Merchandising and Branding: Eden Flower Studio, Gregory Hills.
Fresh Content Award Winner: Alec Morris, Pasta et Al.
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