Laucke Flour Mills’ Mark Laucke wins prestigious SA Food Industry Award

The man behind one of Australia’s few remaining family-owned flour-mills has been recognised for his contribution to the SA food industry, winning the Bickford’s Australia Leader Award at the 2014 South Australian Food Industry Awards.

Laucke Flour Mills Managing Director Mark Laucke is the fifth food industry icon to receive the award, honouring his commitment to excellence in the production of specialty flour and bakery mixes as well as his efforts in inspiring and influencing others. The award also recognises Mark for his leadership, creativity and for achieving goals toward a shared vision for Laucke Flour Mills and the SA food industry as a whole.

Mark’s passion for improving awareness of South Australia’s produce and unique environment has resulted in his appointment as an Ambassador for Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment, a government-appointed role that sees him volunteer his time and energy to championing the State, its premium produce and its clean environment.

A deserving winner of this year’s Bickfords Australia Leader Award, Mark is committed to staying ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to food science and nutrition and to continuing his wholehearted support of those within the State’s food industry who want to ‘grow the pie’ rather than compete for declining individual slices of it.

Upon accepting the award at the 21 November gala dinner, Mark took the opportunity to highlight an emerging issue to industry.
“Currently, Organic Certification is the only system we can use to prove our clean and green credentials and to give customers the confidence of traceability of product origins,” Mr Laucke said.

“The problem for me as a business owner, and Australia in general, is that for very practical reasons, we simply cannot reliably produce enough certified organic grain to supply Australia, let alone have the surplus to supply China and other markets,” he said.

“There is opportunity to establish and market a Certification Process at a standard deemed appropriate by our markets and consumers in those markets to give our customers, and their consumers, confidence and trust in our clean and green credentials.

“This will further differentiate ourselves from our competitors and, in so doing, add further value to our products.”

He is preparing to approach and interact with Laucke customers to involve them in the establishment of such a Food Safety Accreditation system and the opportunity it would afford them.

“Because businesses in South Australia are innovative and committed to value-added food, I invite South Australians to join me as I seek to take advantage of this opportunity. I would be happy to provide leadership as we work cooperatively to achieve the ultimate greatest benefit for all of us,” Mr Laucke said.
Laucke Flour Mills is a leading supplier of specialty flours and mixes for retail and trade markets with a focus on producing higher-value flours for high-end sourdough bread and pasta, biscuit, pizza and pie makers, as well as the increasing segment of discerning home bread makers and bakers.
Since taking over the family flour milling business in 2000, Mark has driven an impressive innovation record and year-on-year growth for Australia’s oldest flour miller; no mean feat in an industry dominated by corporate giants.

Innovation and change is core to the success of the business, which is expected to triple its output after opening of another specialist mill earlier this year.
Under Mark’s stewardship, the trialling of milling new grains and mixing old ingredients with new has led to the creation of new recipes from experts and consumers in the Laucke Test Kitchens. The Laucke range now includes a number of products tailored to niche market segments—Bio-Fort selenium, phytosoy and gluten-free—representing Mark’s devotion to improving health outcomes for all customers.

His commitment to developing quality grains and other milling produce has driven improvements in the flour milling sector, in turn driving sustainability and growth opportunities for the South Australian food industry.

Previous recipients of the Bickford’s Australia Leader Award include Maggie Beer, Robern Menz’s Phil Sims and Barossa Fine Foods founder Franz Knoll.