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A new commercial partnership between Bedford and SA food producer Peel & Tonic is creating dozens of jobs and skills growth opportunities for South Australians with disability.

The partnership has seen Peel & Tonic move their commercial operations and machinery to our Panorama site, where clients process and package their products in purpose-built, modified clean rooms.

Bedford Chief Executive Maggie Dowling says this union cements Bedford’s position as a full-scale commercial solutions provider for the food and beverage industry.

“The contract adds to the variety of work for people with disability at Bedford, while also providing opportunities for employee training and skills growth,” she says.

The contract is also an excellent example of our new one-stop shop Social supply chain model, that creates social value and jobs for South Australian businesses from the start of production to the end of packaging.

Specialising in handcrafted dehydrated fruit that is freshly picked from the State’s Riverland region, the South Australian, family-owned business has experienced exponential growth since launching in 2019 - starting with five customers in their first year, to over 500 across Australia today and now exporting.

Initially a side-project for owners Homer, Teli, and Clare Aslanidis, the family switched their focus to Peel & Tonic after their wholesale liquor business took a hit during COVID – a pivot which saw the company not only survive during 2020, but thrive.

“When Bedford Business Development Manager Craig Markey and team approached the company, we realised that by partnering with Bedford, we could rapidly upscale our business and secure our supply chain,” Mr Aslanidis says.

“We were impressed by Bedford’s commitment to, and experience in, high-quality which is really important for us.”

The family’s achievements have earned Peel & Tonic two nominations in the 2021 Food SA industry awards in Emerging Business and Boutique Food and Wine categories. To assist with the campaign, Bedford is providing accreditations such as HACCP and Quality ISO to the Peel & Tonic project.

“Partnering with Bedford made sense to us, not only commercially, but also from a socially responsible standpoint. The support and opportunities they provide to people with disability in South Australia are second to none and we are proud to be associated with them,” Mr Aslanidis says.

Learn more about how Bedford can meet your full-scale packaging and production needs by contacting Craig Markey on 0466 789 226 or cmarkey@bedfordgroup.com.au.

For media enquiries contact Vassil Malandris on 0418 838 967 or Emily Erickson on 0422 272 719.