Demonstrating Coles’ commitment to Australian suppliers in its centenary year ambassador and chef Curtis Stone was in Tatura last Wednesday visiting Tatura Primary School where he spoke to eager and awe-struck students.BOB NICOL February 19, 2014 4:25am
Tatura Primary School principal Jane Lloyd was ‘‘over the moon’’ when she met world-renowned chef Curtis Stone, who spoke at the school.
Earlier he visited Wyuna’s Mercuri Family Farms, which is one of Australia’s largest tomato growers, producing more than 5 million kg of tomatoes each year.
Mercuri has supplied to Coles for more than 25 years, and will this year supply the company with 350 000 cartons of tomatoes as part of their joint venture with Premier Fruits Group.
At Tatura Primary School, principal Jane Lloyd said the visit was exciting.
‘‘The staff and I, along with the students, are excited that Curtis has taken time out of his busy schedule to visit the school,’’ she said.
Mr Stone said the visit to Tatura Primary School was to talk about the food grown around Tatura and ‘‘how we use it’’.
He has been working with Coles and ‘‘a bunch of local farmers’’ for five years, and apart from visiting farms, he produces 100 recipes a year for the company.
‘‘It’s better we can work directly with, and have better relationships with farmers.
‘‘Currently we have around 96 per cent of locally grown products at Coles, but I would like to get it to 100 per cent,’’ he said.
Mr Stone stressed to students the importance of buying locally, thus providing better support ‘‘for our farmers’’.
He went on to discuss the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables and a healthy diet, which created a mixed reception among students, much to Mr Stone’s amusement.
And with a number of students admitting to not liking fruit and vegetables, particularly tomatoes which Mr Stone was keen to promote and drew a large ‘‘yuck’’ from many in the audience, he suggested ‘‘do not be afraid to give them a go’’.
‘‘Eat things that come out of the ground — that is fresh fruit and vegies,’’ he said.
Mr Stone said during the five years he had been working with Coles, he had the privilege to visit farms and work with growers from across the country.
‘‘I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Coles’ great quality Australian fresh produce than showcasing some of these great farmers who are supplying Coles,’’ he said.
Following his entertaining thought-provoking talk which attracted plenty of student interaction when questions were asked, Mr Stone was graciously thanked by the school captains Bailey Archer and Chloe Wereszczuk.
Coles managing director Ian McLeod said Coles would celebrate with growers and communities that have led double digit growth in sales of fresh produce every year, for the past five years, as part of its centenary celebrations.
He said Mr Stone’s visit to growers in three states will highlight the dramatic improvement in quality and innovation in varieties and products that have resulted in a surge in fresh produce participation in customer shopping baskets around the country.
‘‘Working closely with our growers to deliver the best quality has driven a dramatic increase of fresh produce in our customer baskets every week. Coles now sources an extra 15 000 truck loads of Australian grown fruit and vegetables compared to five years ago,’’ Mr McLeod said.
‘‘As part of our centenary year celebrations, we are recognising the great Australian suppliers that make it possible to deliver fantastic quality Aussie-grown produce — from the farm to the fork.’’
A DVD about the experience of Indigenous people who settled on the river flats between Mooroopna and Shepparton from 1939 will be screened on Monday.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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