Iconic company Bega Cheese has been named the NSW Regional Exporter of the Year.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said it was a deserving win by one of the most respected names in dairy product manufacturing in Australia.
"It’s pleasing to see such an iconic Aussie brand performing so well,” Mr Stoner said.
Bega Cheese received the prize at a glittering formal dinner ceremony at the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre, where Mr Stoner presented the keynote address at the 2013 NSW Premier’s Export Awards.
“The awards reward companies in various categories who achieve commendable success in striking new ground in overseas markets,” Mr Stoner said.
“Bega Cheese, the top regional exporter, is a readily recognisable brand in Australia and can trace its history in NSW food manufacturing for more than 100 years.
“Its original butter factory opened in 1900 and the present butter factory was built in 1924. The name was changed to the Bega Co-operative Society in 1944.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Paul Toole presented the award on the Deputy Premier’s behalf and said, as the regional MP of Bathurst, he understood the importance of regional manufacturing and Bega Cheese was a worthy recipient of the prize.
“As well as being commercially popular, Bega Cheese is a significant Australian exporter, sending more than 60 million units of cheese a year to 40 countries around the world,” Mr Toole said.
The company’s largest exports are to the Middle East, South East Asia and North Asia, with sales to countries in Central and South America and the Pacific Islands as well.
Ian Murray, the executive chairman of the Export Council of Australia which staged the awards, praised Bega Cheese and the overall high quality of exporters as they bravely chased new markets.
“Their willingness to innovate, take risks and identify and pursue opportunities has allowed many of the 2013 finalists to expand their export businesses into new territories and improve the efficiency of their operations, allowing them to become more competitive,” Mr Murray said.
“In this day and age, to not consider exporting, is to write off millions of new customers.”