Wapengo Rocks Wild Organic Oysters takes home gold from delicious. awards

WINNER: Shane Buckley holds one of his oysters on a beautiful day at his farm on Wapengo Lake in 2016.
WINNER: Shane Buckley holds one of his oysters on a beautiful day at his farm on Wapengo Lake in 2016.

It is the second year in a row Wapengo Rocks Wild Organic Oysters has taken home gold in the country's most prestigious food industry campaign.

Owner/farmer Shane Buckley's business was among the four gold medallists, all from the NSW Far South Coast, in the From the Sea category of the the delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards.

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"I want to highlight the fact the producers here on the South Coast are considered the best in the country by the chefs and judges in delicious.," he said.

"Especially to have three of us in estuaries next to each other, it's a real feather in the cap for the Bega Valley.

"Nelsons and Wapengo are the best places to be able to grow Sydney rock oysters.

"We're pretty lucky and it's pretty special to have a natural product in such an amazing location."

The other gold medalists are Tathra Oysters, Mimosa Rock Oysters and Australia's Oyster Coast Appellation Oysters at Wagonga in Narooma.

Like many, Mr Buckley's business has experienced a difficult year due to the impacts of the summer bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

He sells directly to restaurants and the public and said he had about three weeks of harvesting between the bushfires and when the virus hit.

He said "then it just turned off like a light switch" and restaurants no longer wanted oysters.

But he said people in the cities rallied behind his business and he was selling bags of oysters to individuals who then shared them on.

"It was really heartfelt and beautiful to think people enjoyed the product so much they were able to support us and do the work themselves to get the oysters out there," he said.

Mr Buckley said at the moment he is "struggling for room" because he has so many oysters coming in.

"Because we couldn't sell practically an entire oyster crop and we've got ensuing crops coming on," he said.

"We've just got to wait for the markets to reemerge and start moving them into the cities again."

Now in its 15th year, the delicious. awards celebrate the country's new, innovative, native and consistently outstanding Australian ingredients grown, caught, sourced or produced with dedication, passion, knowledge and regard for the environment.

This story Wapengo Rocks Wild Organic Oysters takes home gold from delicious. awards first appeared on Bega District News.

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