Gold Coast, Australia – Western Australian potato industry leader Matt Cocciolone of Beta Spuds has tonight been recognised for his innovative practices, winning the AUSVEG Industry Impact Award, proudly sponsored by Visy, at this evening’s 2015 National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, at the Jupiters Gold Coast.

The award is sponsored by Visy, a leading packaging and resource recovery company that delivers innovative packaging solutions for the benefit of the Australian horticulture industry. It is presented to an individual or business that has invested in creating, or has implemented, a system of technology or business practice outside of the industry norm. The technology or practice must also have resulted in a significant contribution to best farm practice or in cost savings through the value chain.

AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy said Mr Cocciolone was receiving the prestigious award in recognition of the businesses’ transition from using traditional paper bags for their potatoes to modern, plastic varieties which are more breathable and easier to brand.

The business also incorporated a special ‘hydro-cooler’ to reduce the core temperature of potatoes to eight degrees which ensures greater longevity and quality.

“Innovation is a vital element of the long-term viability of our industry, and it is people like Matt and the Beta Spuds team that are setting the standard,” said Mr Mulcahy.

“Beta Spuds is one of the biggest washers and packers in Western Australia, and seeing it invest in technology that is innovative and forward thinking sets an example for the entire national industry to follow.”

“This new product gives the company bigger scope to market their product, and has allowed their potatoes to be stored for longer period and maintain higher quality.”

Mr Mulcahy congratulated Mr Cocciolone on the success and noted the high-calibre of nominations across all Awards for Excellence categories.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

The 2015 National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner was held at Jupiters Gold Coast on Saturday 27 June, and honoured growers and other members of the Australian vegetable, potato, apple and pear industries for outstanding achievements in their respective fields.

The National Horticulture Convention, incorporating AUSVEG and Apple and Pear Australia Limited attracted around 1,400 delegates from June 25-27.

For official photos of the awards ceremony, please contact the AUSVEG media contact below.


MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Manager – Communications, AUSVEG

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0406 836 330, Email: