Three generations of family are behind Ferguson Australia, one of South Australia’s most respected seafood harvesters and marketers.
The other day I was invited to attend the launch of the new all- South Australian wild caught frozen fish range from Ferguson Australia. The Ferguson family have been catching, marketing and exporting some of our state’s very best seafood for almost 50 years. I first encountered them on Kangaroo Island a few years back, but it occurred to me that many consumers might not realise just what a significant South Australian family business Ferguson Australia actually is.
The business started in 1969 when Robert Ferguson decided to switch from farming to fishing, catching Southern Rock Lobster in the abundant waters off the south east coast of South Australia. In 1980 his son Andrew joined him and, in 1999, Andrew and wife Debra saw an opportunity to to value add the abundant supply of larger, lesser valued, lobsters. They went on to develop their award winning innovative lobster range produced from larger sized lobsters and in 2003 established the brand “Ferguson Australia” to manufacture and market this premium range of seafood.
Today Ferguson Australia is transitioning to the third generation of the family, with Kate Birch the General Manager, William Ferguson the Sales Director and Eliza Ferguson the Export and Marketing Manager. Overall, seven members of this highly experienced and committed fishing family manage the fishing fleet, export, international offices and Australian retail/wholesale trade.
Ferguson’s are one of the larger South Australian fishing families, operating a fleet of seven fishing boats. Because of the general Australian habit of viewing lobster as a once-a-year treat, they are unable to sell all of their sustainable catch here so they have built an export market and are now the largest lobster exporter out of Adelaide airport. Their strong commitment to marine research and innovative sustainable fishing practices has led to Ferguson Australia being recognised as an industry leader in the Australian commercial fishing industry.
Ferguson’s have always supported locally caught produce and this week they have launched their all- South Australian wild caught frozen fish range. It includes five iconic South Australian wild caught fish species handpicked by the family – Southern Garfish, King George Whiting, Gummy Shark, Coorong Mullet and Flathead. Each is caught using the best fishing practices, ensuring quality is maintained when harvesting and all are filleted, vacuumed packed and blast frozen on the day they are caught.
The range will be available from Monday November 14 in Foodland, IGA, the Kangaroo Island stall within the Adelaide Central Market, Ferguson Australia online store and other independent retail / organic / butcher stores throughout SA, NT, NSW, VIC and WA.
While I adore it, I’m afraid I’ll have to put my hand up to being one of the once-a-year lobster consumers. As a committed fan of local products, I’m thrilled to find that Ferguson Australia have partnered with other iconic South Australian brands. They’ve combined with Henschke (another great South Australian family producer) and Deviation Road wines to put together amazing entertainment packs. I’ve already ordered one of each for our Christmas – one thing off the Christmas list already!
Henschke & Ferguson $168 (RRP$220 of value)
1 bottle of 2016 Green’s Hill Riesling, 1 bottle of 2015 Innes Vineyard Pinot Gris, 1kg Cooked Lobster, 1kg Cooked King Prawns, 1 Beerenberg Seafood Sauce
Deviation Road & Ferguson $89 (RRP$134 of value)
1 bottle of 2011 Beltana Blanc de Blancs sparkling, 1 tray of oysters, 1 Harris smokehouse salmon pate
All Ferguson Australia products are available from their online store.