Over the past year, there has been a growing awareness to support local, and a desire to celebrate the producers found in our own backyard. Many of us have started to pay attention to the provenance, corporate values and production methods of the food we consume. These issues are taken very seriously by artisan producers. This article explores some of the many benefits of artisan products.
The food we eat plays an important role in our daily lives. But there is a lot more to food than just the nutrients it delivers. Importantly, food connects us to others. It brings us together and is an important part of the many celebrations and good times we share with family and friends.
Even from a distance, artisan products expose us to new regions and can inspire us to experiment with new ways of cooking old favourites. Adding a touch of artisan as the base for your risotto, for instance, will bring it to a whole new level.
Artisans are masters of their craft and create products with meaning and stories. Their practices incorporate traditional methods and innovative ideas whilst considering sustainable practices where possible.
Artisan products can bring a wealth of benefits to your plate and dining experiences. Here are just a few of those benefits:
Sustainable practices are at the core of the artisan’s business model and supply chain
In a world where discussions around issues like global warming and ethical supply chain practices are gaining momentum, more and more people are thinking about the impacts of mass-produced food products.
Artisan producers – also known simply as ‘artisans’ – create products on a small scale or in small batches, respecting the resources used in the process. They are conscious that artisan production methods and ingredients have traditionally been used to ensure long-term sustainability, and they’re not driven by short-term profit.
The seasonality of the fresh produce used in their recipes plays an important role in the products that can be made. This is why you’ll often find limited edition products or short-term availability. Artisans will also incorporate a range of food processing methods, such as freeze-drying, to allow fresh produce with shorter seasons to be enjoyed in creative ways throughout the year.
Artisans are also conscious of reducing food miles. As the produce is grown and processed locally, there are lower transport emissions across the supply chain. Take Pukura Estate in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales, for example. Their olive oil and vinegar processing, production, bottling and warehousing facility is located on their 300-acre property, right where the produce is grown. So, everything they need from harvest to-plate is onsite, allowing them to keep the food miles low while consistently producing the freshest products throughout each season.
Artisans produce food with greater meaning
Spending our money on products that align with our values and passion is a privilege. It enables us to enjoy food that has been created with deeper meaning. Artisan products allow us to go back to the source and relate to the story, whether it be learning more about the region from which the produce was sourced or the history behind the artisan.
The location of artisan products is often connected to a deeper provenance or origin. This enables us to learn about the region, the traditional processes used in production and the climate and other conditions that the fresh produce needs to grow. Mass production and large-scale grocery stores detach us from the producers who create our food. Learning about the artisan’s experience and dedication to creating certain flavour profiles and tasting experiences provides us with a greater sense of appreciation for the energy, time and skill that has gone into the products we enjoy. This can be impactful as a consumer, as we become more critical of the inputs, ingredients and lives involved in the global food supply chain on a grander scale.
Artisan produce allows us to celebrate and support Australian innovation in food
Australian farmers, artisans and innovators have much to be proud of. Abroad, Australia is known as an exporter of high-quality food and beverages. It takes great skill and innovation for the artisan to experiment with ingredients and flavours the way they do. By supporting local artisans, we are also supporting Australian innovation in food and our reputation in the world as responsible, high-quality food exporters.
Whether you’re looking to make more conscious purchasing decisions or just want to relive the taste from a region you can’t visit right now, artisan products are a great way to celebrate. Why not take the time to time learn about the innovative wine-making practices adopted in one of the 65+ wine regions in Australia, for instance? There is so much to value about Australian artisan products, from the source of the produce to the stories, traditions, vision and innovative practices of the artisan producers.