18/11/2020
man on production line

Each year about 100,000 visitors pick strawberries and stroll the grounds of Beerenberg, the Adelaide Hills’ berry hill.

The Beerenberg Family Farm — named after the German for berry hill — in more than 45 years has grown into a key family tourist attraction for its pick-your-own strawberries.

Behind the fields, however, was the development of a premium food-production business that now sells its jams, condiments and sauces in 23 countries around the world.

Beerenberg has been run by six generations of the Paech family since 1839, transforming 50 years ago into a strawberry plantation.

Managing director Anthony Paech (pictured) says they have been producing strawberry jam since 1971.

“We’ve got about 340,000 plants, we’re doing a lot more now because of demand,” he says.

“People really want Australian fruit and they want to support local. And Australian fruit is the best in the world.”

Their flagship products are their award-winning strawberry jam, caramelised onion, tomato chutney and tomato sauce, but their range extends to more than 80 items.

Paech says their sales of tomato sauce are accelerating, thanks to its distinct “Beerenbergy” qualities.

“We say a product is Beerenbergy,” he says.

“They’re generous and rich, and the flavour is a taste of country life.”

And that SA country life is travelling far and wide. Beerenberg dressings are being exported to Russia, jams and condiments to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and six condiments are in stores in California.

They’ve been part of the in-flight experience of airlines for decades and exporting to Japan and Indonesia for three decades.

Paech says SA is a great environment for food and business, given conditions and the close connections between growers and producers.

“We work together in this state because everyone knows each other and we’re kind of small,” he says.

“There’s a community here you wouldn’t get in the eastern states.”

Pictured, Beerenberg managing director Anthony Paech.

This article originally appeared in The Australian's Future Adelaide Special Report.