The paddock to plate movement was at its best last week in the Lockyer Valley after Qualipac handed over a box of fresh Queensland broccoli to Keith, chef at local restaurant Cafe 4342. Keith worked his magic and created three mouth watering dishes showcasing not only his skills but also the versatility of the humble broccoli. Chef Keith certainly has an appreciation for fresh local produce and it’s not hard to see why Cafe 4342 is one of our favourite Lockyer Valley restaurants.
Qualipac has taken out top honours at last night’s Lockyer Valley Business Training & Apprenticeship Awards, taking home the 2016 Business of the Year Award.
The prestigious award was accepted by Qualipac Director Troy Qualischefski in front of a capacity crowd at the Gatton Shire Hall. In his acceptance speech, Troy acknowledged the businesses close connections to the Lockyer Valley region.
“The Lockyer Valley Region has provided a living for our family since the early 1900′s and we hope that this will continue for generations to come. It is a wonderful region to operate a business and we are very proud to receive this award tonight”.
Troy also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the wives and partners of the businesses key staff members and company directors.
“In a largely male dominated industry, the wives and partners and the role they play behind the scenes can often go unnoticed. They certainly are a big part of Qualipac’s success and we appreciate their support and the contributions they make to our business.”
The award capped off a remarkable night for the business after also taking out the top award in the Agricultural and Horticultural Production and Processing Business category.
Qualipac’s success at last night’s awards is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all members of the team and provides further motivation to continue to build and improve the business into the future.
Qualipac’s Sales and Marketing Manager Kees Versteeg has recently returned from a Trade Mission visit to Taiwan and Japan. The trip was part of the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program and was organised through the Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries.
Qualipac currently export broccoli to both countries and the trip provided a fantastic opportunity for Kees to see firsthand Qualipac broccoli in the supermarkets, meet with current and potential customers and end consumers as well as other members of the supply chain.
“Our customers are very impressed with our consistency in supply, consistency in quality and the fact that our produce comes directly from a 4th generation farming family in Australia”.
A highlight of the trip was a lunch cooked by the famous Iron Chef, Hiroyuki Sakai using produce from Queensland growers including fresh Qualipac broccoli. Sakai is a well-known Japanese chef who specializes in French cuisine and is the owner of 3 restaurants called “La Rochelle”. He is most famous for being the second, and last, Iron Chef French on the Japanese television show Iron Chef. Sakai showcased the versatility of broccoli by preparing a broccoli mousse, a dish that certainly impressed Kees.
“Fresh Queensland broccoli is packed full of flavour and the mousse prepared by Iron Chef really highlighted this, it was very refreshing to see and taste. I was fortunate enough to speak with the Iron Chef and he was full of praise of Queensland broccoli and its flavour, something that was very pleasing to hear”.
Qualipac is a major grower and supplier of fresh broccoli and export into Asian markets, where a particularly high quality is expected. If your require more information about Qualipac and export of broccoli please contact Kees Versteeg at email@example.com
Qualipac Director Troy Qualischefski and Sales and Marketing Manager Kees Versteeg spent yesterday morning in Toowoomba with Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade Jackie Trad. The meeting, organised through Trade and Investment Queensland, was an opportunity to showcase to the Deputy Premier the export side of the business and in particular, our Broccoli export to Japan.
Kees Versteeg has been heavily involved in developing this area of our business and sees the Japanese and Asian markets as a significant opportunity to sustainable and long term export of fresh produce.
“We are currently sending (and growing) significant volumes of Broccoli to Japan and other Asian countries each and every week. As a grower and exporter we have and will continue to develop very strong relationships with our overseas customers to continue growing our export market. Growing as well as exporting our fresh produce has enabled us to significantly shorten up the whole of the supply chain so that we can deliver the freshest and best quality produce to our customers and consumers”.
Ms Trad was impressed with the achievements of Qualipac and is very optimistic about future opportunities to increase exports into Japan. You can read more about Ms Trad’s visit and the export of Broccoli to Japan here: http://statements.qld.gov.au/…/darling-downs-leads-the-way-…
A mantra we work by here at Qualipac:
“If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.” Kees Versteeg
Qualipac are pleased to welcome Sam Adams to our business who has joined our team as a Field and Sustainability Officer.
After growing up in Armidale on a cattle and sheep property, Sam moved to Gatton to study at UQ where he completed his degree in plant science. He is now an integral part of the farming side of the business and is involved in a variety of area’s including crop monitoring, harvesting and logistics, as well as managing staff and sustainability and compliance issues.
Sam brings a great deal of energy to the business and as with most young people, has an appreciation for technology and is interested in how it can be applied to the agricultural industry.
“I think these days technology has a big role to play in agriculture and it is definitely an area where the industry as a whole can improve. Qualipac are doing some great things with technology, particular with regards to irrigation and the business if very open to adopting new practices. It’s something that I’m keen to keep up with and apply what I learn to the business.”
Qualipac Farms General Manager Brad Qualischefski has been working with Sam over the past few months.
“We are a progressive and innovative business and good staff are integral part of this. Sam has been a great addition to our business, he is very enthusiastic and keen to put into practice what he already knows through his experiences growing up in Armidale and through his studies”.
In gaining employment with a business such as Qualipac, Sam can see plenty of opportunities to learn and progress.
“As well as growing, Qualipac are also packers and suppliers of produce to both domestic and international markets so learning about the packing and marketing side of the business is something I’m keen to do in the future. To have an understanding of the complete process from start to finish is very important and would be invaluable experience”.
We have recently commenced our 2016 Broccoli harvest and thought it would be the perfect time to remind everyone of why we love this vegetable so much.
From a nutrition point of view, Broccoli is near if not at the top of the list as far as vegetables go. It is packed full of antioxidants, minerals and fibre and of course it has long been thought to have cancer preventing properties. It has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and improve heart health and digestion.
Broccoli is also surprisingly versatile. Fresh Queensland grown Broccoli is perfect just lightly steamed or even try it raw in salads. But, since we are coming into the cooler months why not try one of our favourite ways to enjoy this wonderful vege – roasted:
Cut the florets off a head of fresh Broccoli and toss it in a zip lock back with 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a couple of lugs of olive oil, the juice of a small lemon and some salt and pepper. Give the bag a shake so the broccoli is coated. Tip onto a lined baking tray and bake in a moderate over for 25-30 mins. Delicious!
Fresh Queensland broccoli is making its way to your local Australian supermarket now so be sure to pick some up for your next dinner.
Harvesting of the beans is underway and we are now almost half way through the process for this season. The beans are part of our ongoing association with food manufacturer Simplot with the majority destined for frozen product.
Long time Qualipac employee Allan Harch has the task of harvesting the beans, a job that often begins at midnight due to the cooler temperature. Keeping the beans as cool as possible is important for preserving their freshness, especially in our climate and at this time of the year.
Qualipac Farms General Manager, Brad Qualischefski has been overseeing the process and is very happy with the results.
A lot of hard work goes into the growing stage and it is rewarding to get to the harvesting stage, especially when the results are as good as they are. The product quality is excellent and the yields have exceeded our expectations.
From the farm the beans are transported a short distance to our packing shed where with the support of Simplot, we have established a specialised bean line. The beans are washed, sorted and cooled before being transported by train to Simplot’s factory in Devonport, Tasmania where they will be processed and snap frozen.
As a proudly Australian company, Qualipac are pleased to be able to work with Simplot in their push to see more Australian produce in frozen products in our supermarkets.
With just a few weeks to run on our broccoli season and with the warmer weather now upon us our attention turns to our summer production crops. This year, as well as corn we will for the first time be producing both beans and cabbage as part of our ongoing partnership with food manufacturer Simplot.
This summer, Qualipac will be producing over 3000 tonnes of corn, 500 tonnes of beans and 200 tonnes of cabbage which will be destined for a variety of Simplot products. We are currently half way through the planting stage with the majority of the produce being grown in the Lockyer Valley.
Simplot have a strong commitment to supplying our major supermarket chains with both canned and frozen vegetables sourced from Australian producers and Qualipac are proud to be able to continue our association with them.
It’s great to see the supermarkets supporting Australian growers through their business with Simplot. A lot of the time the focus is on fresh Australian produce but it’s also good to see their commitment to Australian grown vegetables in canned and frozen products as well.
Troy Qualischefski, Qualipac Director
Harvesting of the products will commence in November and run through until Christmas.
Qualipac’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Kees Versteeg was recently awarded the 2015 Innovative Marketing Award at the Ausveg Convention, Trade Show and Excellence Awards held on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
The award was received as recognition from his peers for many years of contribution and success in the industry.
Kees has been with Qualipac for over 5 years and has been instrumental in the continual development of our business and we congratulate him on this well deserved award.