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Locavore recognised for sustainability

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Bindoon-based business, the Northern Valleys Locavore Store, is one of 30 West Australian finalists selected to be part of the prestigious 2023 Telstra Best of Business Awards program.

After a rigorous judging process covering strategy and vision, customers and marketing, operations, people and culture, innovation and technology, social responsibility and financial acumen, the businesses who were chosen demonstrated important impact in one or more of the 6 categories – Accelerating Women, Championing Health, Embracing Innovation, Indigenous Excellence, Outstanding Growth and Promoting Sustainability.

Locavore Store owner Tamieka Preston said she was surprised to have been selected through the 4 levels to reach the WA finals in the Promoting Sustainability category.

“I certainly didn’t expect we’d get this far, but I’m so glad that our commitment to building a more sustainable food system has been recognised,” she said.

The farmers-market-style shop has been operating in Bindoon for over 4 years and has a unique system which allows the producers to set their own prices and manage their own stock – as if they were at a farmers market themselves. The produce in the store is limited to what’s in season and must have travelled the least food miles possible.

Meeting the criteria for the Promoting Sustainability category, businesses had to show that they were reducing their environmental impact by driving sustainable change within their industry for a cleaner and healthier planet – which was the easiest part of the application process for the Locavore Store.

“Reducing the carbon footprint of our food is our primary focus,” says Tamieka. “One of the best ways to do that is to reduce the distance the food travels. An enormous amount of fuel, energy and wages goes into transporting food worldwide, and sadly around one third of that food is wasted.”

The Pitch Pack section proved more challenging for Tamieka, requiring extensive documentation of contributions and outcomes of the business as well as future strategies and philosophies, which had to be presented in a live video format.

“The Pitch Pack was definitely the hardest section to complete, but whatever happens I’m glad to have done that work and gathered and assessed all that information about the business. It’s been a very valuable process to take stock of what we’ve done and where we’re going,” she said.

“The producers who have come on board are obviously crucial to the success of the store – without them we would be nothing! I really appreciate many of them have taken a risk and changed the way they operate to work with our system – which has been very brave and forward-thinking of them. They are all small businesses too, and change, though inevitable, is not always easy. Of course I’d like to thank all of the Locavore Store team too – they are a fantastic bunch and we really enjoy what we do!”
Telstra’s Best of Business Awards program continues Telstra’s long legacy of awards programs that has recognised exceptional small and medium businesses for more than 25 years, providing a platform to further their success and inspire others.

Telstra Acting Group Executive, Consumer and Small Business, Amanda Hutton said, “Small to medium sized businesses are the engine room of our economy, and it’s a huge privilege to be able to celebrate the resilience, success, and progress of Australia’s small business community.

“It’s been fantastic to see so many small and medium businesses nominated and come through the program, and to see first-hand the strength of the businesses that move Australia forward.”
West Australian winners of the 2023 Telstra Best of Business

Awards will be announced on February 14 at www.telstrabestofbusinessawards.com. State and Territory winners will be invited to Melbourne for the national judging on Wednesday, 22 March, and a national dinner celebration in Melbourne on Thursday, 23 March.