Spanner Crabs Noosa wins award

Spanner Crabs Noosa were joint winners along with Pristine Oyster Farm from South Australia in the ‘from the sea’ section of the 2009 Vogue Entertaining + Travel Produce Awards.

The awards were announced last night and celebrate and uncover the best of Australia’s producers and suppliers, in categories including ‘from the paddock’, ‘from the dairy’, ‘from the earth’ and ‘from the sea’.

There were several Queensland finalists in the various award sections.

Jason Sgro and Alison Reed’s Spanner Crabs Noosa crabmeat is well loved in Noosa and Brisbane. It’s a favourite of local chef David Rayner at the River House in Noosa.

Highly commended last year, it’s a worthy winner in 2009. At present, the company’s goal is to reduce packaging and freight by at least 75 per cent to minimise their carbon footprint.

“This has a fantastic, almost gelatinous, texture and clean flavour,” said judge Matt Moran.

It's been a long road for partners in life and business, Alison Reed and Jason Sgro, who established the business in 2002. I met them last year while researching a story for Selector Magazine on the Settler’s Cove Noosa Food & Wine Festival (published Summer edition 08).

Jason, who had turned to professional fishing after a career in the printing industry, wanted to stop wandering the coastline of Queensland and the Northern Territory in search of the next best catch. He saw an opening in the market for catching, processing and selling spanner crabs and set out to establish his own business.

“I wanted to get involved in a live industry and didn't want to keep travelling,” says Jason. “I came back to Noosa and spanner crab licenses were an affordable option.

“It's been a struggle but we are very focussed on where we want to be – a premium producer of spanner crab.”