Woodward Foods lamb beats beef and pork in Sydney Royal awards

Sheep Central, September 24, 2018

Woodward’s Daniel Woodward, Henry Woodward and Dean Loudoun, left, with John Stone, Dana Stone and Josh Stone.

LAMB has reigned supreme over beef and pork in the 2018 Sydney Royal Show Taste of Excellence Awards.

Family-owned Woodward Foods has defied the impact of the drought on the operation to win the 2018 Dick Stone Perpetual Trophy for the branded meat grand champion winner, its WF Export Lamb (USA) product.

The winning cutlet was sourced from a pasture-fed new season lamb from the company’s Lucindale property Redbank.

The trophy is decided amongst the championship winners to emerge from the branded meat section of the coveted Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show held this month. The awards were held at The Stables, Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park last Friday night.

It is the first year the Dick Stone Perpetual Trophy has been expanded to include beef, lamb and pork classes. Dick Stone was regarded as a true gentleman of the Australian meat Industry and resolute in his commitment to promoting excellence.

Woodward is one of Australia’s largest meat producers and distributors with hubs in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Swan Hill, Victoria, with a ‘paddock to plate’ operation featuring a network of 31 breeding and finishing farms, feedlots, processing plants and distribution centres. The company produces beef and lamb in fresh carcase and carton form for export and a network of domestic butchers and wholesalers.

General manager of Woodward Foods’ Queensland wholesale division Dean Loudoun said the Sydney Royal win was the best result in three years of entering the competition.

Mr Loudoun said the drought made the entry selection process difficult, but Anthony Buying in domestic sales at the company’s Swan Hill plant selected the award winning racks from a 26kg carcase weight lambs, and cooked and tasted them before entering.

“He’s picked some great carcases as they came through.”

Mr Loudoun said it was gratifying for lamb to come out on top in the competition, with the difficult season and farmers struggling to feed stock.

“It was a great win for us.”

The drought this year forced Woodwards to move stock from lamb properties at Wilcannia and Glencoe southwards into South Australia and Victoria.

In the Sydney competition last year, Woodward Foods won a gold medal with its 24-26kg Tasmanian lamb. Other competition wins have included a grand champion win at the Royal Queensland Show, as well as gold medals at the Brisbane Ekka and the Royal Melbourne Show.

“Last year, we took out the grand champion at the Royal Queensland Show and when we were announced it was a complete shock, because we are coming up against some great competitors in the industry that breed livestock for the competitions.

“To come away with the grand champion in Queensland last year, as well as some other awards up here this year, and to take this out in Sydney, it was a real boost.”

Lamb’s win was a testament to industry resilience

Lamb has reigned supreme in the branded meat at the 2018 Sydney Royal Show

Chair of the Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Committee and Royal Agricultural Society of NSW councillor Lachlan Bowtell said this year’s competition was a testament to resilience.

“Even through the ravages of drought Australian lamb producers have delivered yet again.

“The high quality and flavours of the lamb presented to the judges this year made their role even more difficult,” Mr Bowtell said.

“The Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards aim to reward excellence and this year was a true testament to the commitment and passion of not only lamb, but beef and pork producers, at times under dire circumstances,” he said.

Chair of judges in the branded meat competition George R. Ujvary agreed.

“The overall quality of beef exhibits this year was very high and it was interesting to see the gap between the marbling quality of grass fed and grain fed beef exhibits closing yet again this year,” he said.

“The marbling of Wagyu exhibits this year was exceptional and flavour across all categories was very good.

“In the lamb competition, the standard of some exhibits was exceptionally high this year despite the conditions seen across the country which presented a number of challenges to producers,” Mr Ujvary said.

“The top exhibits were sweet in flavour, extremely tender and exceptional in mouth feel and appearance.”

During the competition 11 gold medals were awarded across seven classes in “branded meat” one of a series of time-honoured competitions conducted by the RAS and Sydney Royal across the calendar year.

From the gold medallists, the championship winners in branded meat were:

Champion Lamb (Classes 1 To 3) – Woodward Foods Australia Woodward Foods Export Lamb (USA)

Champion Pork (Classes 4 To 5) – Diamond Springs Pastoral Premium Free Range Pork – Female

Champion Beef (Classes 6 To 8) – Manning Valley Naturally Manning Valley Naturally Beef

Branded Meat Grand Champion (Classes 1 To 8) & Dick Stone Perpetual Trophy Branded Meat Grand Champion Exhibit – Woodward Foods Australia, Woodward Foods Export Lamb (USA).


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  1. Doug Piper, September 26, 2018

    Fantastic result for lamb, red meat and the Woodward business. Congratulations!

  2. Bruce Redpath, September 25, 2018

    Congrats to all at Woodwards. These results make it all worthwhile. Redda.

  3. Kelly Parkes, September 24, 2018

    Great work to all the team. A well-deserved win.

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