Barkuma Receives Prestigious Award for Service Excellence in the South Australian Food and Beverage Industry

22nd December, 2023

Service Provider Award Win – South Australian Food and Beverage Industry

Barkuma’s Commercial Services division is proud to have received the Service Provider Award at the recent South Australian Premier’s Food and Beverage Industry Awards. The organisation’s commitment to supporting people with disabilities in employment played a pivotal role in securing the prestigious accolade. The event was attended by Barkuma’s CEO, Simon Roberry, and Shehzad Wadhwania, Production Operations Manager.

Shehzad explains the importance of this recognition: “Barkuma was established 56 years ago, and this is the first time in the history that we’ve received this award. So it’s a very proud moment for the almost 190 people who work at Barkuma Commercial Services. Out of those 190, the majority are supported employees – people with disabilities are working in our factories.”

Barkuma’s Diverse Services and Impressive Partnerships

Barkuma Commercial Services supports local manufacturers with packaging and quality assurance in the food and beverage industry. The organisation collaborates with renowned names such as Kangaroo Island Olives, Ennio International, Native Indulgence, GPO Foods Company and celebrity chef Simon Bryant for his brand, Dirty Inc. By choosing Barkuma, businesses receive exceptional services and actively contribute to a socially responsible and inclusive community.

Their state-of-the-art facility, integrating automated and manual processes, offers high-quality, cost-effective, and innovative solutions. Beyond the food industry, Barkuma provides general business solutions. The range of products they handle, from olive oil bottling to packaging Christmas cakes, showcases the versatility of Barkuma’s operations.

For Shehzad, the most important partnership is with Barkuma’s supported employees.

“Our main goal in the commercial services sector is to provide meaningful jobs in our factories for people with disabilities. We are dedicated to our employees, and we recognise that our mission is only achievable with the strong support of our valued commercial customers. Our close partnership with the food and beverage industry is crucial, as it not only strengthens our mission but also brings a significant amount of work, allowing us to fulfil our commitment to creating impactful employment opportunities.

Key Factors Behind the Award

Shehzad highlighted four key factors contributing to Barkuma’s success.

  1. Barkuma’s longstanding commitment to the food and beverage industry
    “Barkuma has been a stalwart in servicing the food and beverage industry for an extensive period. Our longstanding commitment to this sector plays a vital role in sustaining the entire ecosystem, addressing the need for manual resources in product packaging. Our strategic fit within this landscape is crucial, as we specialise in maintaining work levels in our factory that are not entirely automated. This deliberate approach ensures ongoing employment opportunities for our workforce.”
  2.  Making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities
    “Barkuma stands out as a socially impactful organisation, transforming lives by offering employment opportunities to people with disabilities.”
  3. Quality
    “There is an unwavering dedication by Barkuma’s staff to quality control, leading to impressively low rejection rates in their projects.”
  4. Certification
    “Barkuma’s possession of Quality Endorsed and HACCP certifications establishes that we are a preferred service provider for commercial customers.”


The Impact on Supported Employees

The award trophy was recently toured around Barkuma’s two factories to the delight and pride of the supported employees. Shehzad explains the impact, “We wanted to make sure that all our supported employees understand that this award is theirs.”

Many of Barkuma’s supported employees have families, partners and children. Whether living with their families or in supported independent living, it’s essential to note the positive impact of their work on their mindset when they return home.

“Employment not only brings financial benefits but also emotional well-being. Going home happier and proud of supporting their families, employees find meaning and enthusiasm in their daily challenges. This positivity extends to the community and contributes to a vibrant economy where people actively work, earn wages, and make valuable contributions,” says Shehzad.

Supported Employees at Barkuma Commercial Services      Supported Employees at Barkuma Commercial Services      Supported Employees at Barkuma Commercial Services    Supported Employees at Barkuma Commercial Services

Making a difference

Shehzad and his colleagues firmly believes that the award reflects the value Barkuma bring to their customers, as well as the strength of their commercial relationships.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to our commercial customers in the Food & Beverage Industry. Your support is the driving force behind this award, enabling us to provide employment to over 150 people with disabilities,” says Shehzad.

Are you our next Barkuma Commercial Services partner?  If you want to benefit from a range of exceptional services and make a positive social impact, then contact Barkuma today. Visit our Barkuma employment page or phone (08) 8414 7100.